Date Added: April 2017
Author Matthew Kelly tells a wonderful story demonstrating personal sacrifice. His words are summarized below to make us think deeply about ourselves, our families, our co-workers, and our world.
One day you hear about a small village in India where four people have suddenly died of a strange flu that has never been seen before. The Centers for Disease Control sends people to investigate.
You think little about this until a few days later you hear 30,000 are now dead in India from this newly found flu and it’s spreading. Another two days and it has spread across the Middle East and into Africa and Asia; however, it’s still far from the U.S. even though there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it.
Then, the President of France announces the closing of the French borders so nobody can enter the country. Unfortunately, it’s too late as thousands are now dying in Europe. People die within five days of the first symptoms. Panic strikes!
The U.S. President now cancels all flights in and out of the U.S. until a cure is found. Everyone in the world is in fear; and then it happens. It has come to the U.S. People are working 24/7 to find a cure to no avail.
Finally, a cure is discovered and a vaccine can be made. However, it’s going to take the blood of somebody who hasn’t been infected. Everyone is asked to go to their local hospital to have their blood tested. You go with your spouse and children to help stop the epidemic.
Amazingly, a doctor comes running out calling a name. An uninfected individual has been found. A vaccine to cure the world can be created. You realize they are calling your 10-year-old son’s name. You’re asked to sign a consent form so they can use your son’s blood to create the vaccine.
As you’re about to sign the consent form, you notice the box for the number of pints of blood is empty. To your horror, you’re told that since it is a child, they will need all your son’s blood. A vaccine cannot be made to cure the world of this flu unless all blood is taken. Do you sign the form?
People all over the world are dying and your son can save them. As you sign the consent form, your son begins crying as the doctors take him away. “Mom? Dad? What’s going on? Why are you leaving? Why are you abandoning me?”
A week later the world has a ceremony to honor your son for saving humanity. Some people sleep through it. Other don’t come because they’re busy. Some come and pretend to care, but don’t pay attention or say, “This is boring.”
How would you handle this? Wouldn’t you want to scream, “The amazing life you have is because of my son. He died so you could live. Does this mean anything to you?”
The first time I read this I cried. I then read it to my wife and cried again. We then cried together. Every time I’ve read this since and even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes. While we hope we never must deal with anything like this, it exemplifies amazing sacrifice.
Every day, we each make sacrifices for our jobs and careers. We sacrifice time, family, sleep, health, sanity, fun, and many other items. We do this to further our careers, to make more money, to have a higher title, to feel important. We also do this to put food on the table, shelter over our heads, and clothing on our backs.
The next time you’re asked to help a co-worker on a project – or better yet – the next time you see someone in need at work, in a local store, or anywhere – choose to help. In the scheme of things, your “sacrifice” to help is probably small; although it can have such a large positive influence on others.
These simple “sacrifices” create much stronger work environments, corporate cultures, teams and success. These sacrifices can easily make the difficult become simple, and those we may not like to work with become more tolerable. These sacrifices make coming to work seem much better and probably make us happier at home.
The next time you’re asked to help or see someone who needs help at work, at home, or in our communities; think of this story and ask, “What should I do?” You’ll realize the sacrifice is really a blessing.
David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.