Creating Meaning In Life Through Human Sacrifice

Creating Meaning In Life Through Human Sacrifice

Humans have evolved in their thinking since the ancient era, and the types of sacrifices they make have evolved alongside them.

The Oxford Living Dictionary describes sacrifice as, "An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity." However, heavy metal this form of sacrifice is, the type of sacrifice that the typical United States citizen experiences does not involve bloodletting. Instead of offering up something or someone else to a deity, modern people offer something of themselves to be able to obtain an object or opportunity that they would like. The Oxford Living Dictionary describes this sacrifice as, "An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy." No matter what an individual gives up, the contemporary form of sacrifice is an important act that people experience in diverse walks of life.

Throughout European antiquity, ancient druids sacrificed people in swampy areas called bogs (See The Atlantic). Today, college students sacrifice sleep in order to complete an assignment.

In the contemporary U.S., the biggest human sacrifice is that of time. Plenty of film's modern-day classics like There Will Be Blood, The Santa Clause, Liar Liar, Mrs. Doubtfire, and a list of others deal with a parent or parents who cannot spend time with their children. The common child-parent disconnect in these movies is the reason of work.

This article from The Daily Mail titled, "Spending too much time at work when the children were young is a parent's biggest regret" deals with the issues that parents face when sacrificing family time for work time. The article states that out of parents who spend a lot of time at work, "two-thirds admit they would do things differently if they could have the time again." All this being said it is the nature of life in the working man or woman in the United States to sacrifice things that are important in order to be successful.

...Except a feeling of deep remorse for spending too much time at work and not with your child. Source: Liar Liar.

Although not yet fully fledged into the workforce, college students sacrifice time, money, and mental health in order to maintain a high level of achievement and academic success. Individuals outside of the college institution may consider being a college student a labor of making it to class and earning good grades on tests.

However, what students learn as soon as they enter college is that classes require three hours of homework and studying for every hour of class time. In order to graduate in the expected four years, a student will be required to take their maximum amount of units. A maximum amount of units is around eighteen or nineteen.

The homework from these units alone equates to more work time than many full-time jobs, and that is not accounting for the time a student spends in class. If a college student has a job along with their units, they are likely sacrificing more than just their time and hard work to earn a passing grade. In many circumstances, students sacrifice their relationships, their happiness, and their mental health to achieve a passing grade.

When the stress of graduating college is coupled with the rising monetary cost of attending college, it is impossible for a student to come away from their college years without sacrificing.

I understand the stress of a working college student and the sacrifices they make. Not unlike the pagans of ancient times, I give up my well-being and my relationships with others in order to please those who have power over me.

Instead of pleasing a god with a pound of flesh, I sacrifice all of the positive attributes I have in order to please my boss, college professors, coworkers, friends, and any person who has prospects in my future professional development.

With these things considered, it is important to question the rationality of living a long life but a life of sacrifice. I can continue a life where I give a bit of myself to all I do, or I can live life like a pagan because they at least ended their suffering in one quick act.

When confronted with this question, I turn to one man by the name of Camus. Camus is a famous French philosopher who wrote The Myth of Sisyphus. It talks about the sacrifices and the lives of humans. Camus says that life is unfair and full of suffering. He declares that to defeat this suffering, humans must embrace how life is unfair or absurd.

Once an individual understands that life is not fair and that they will experience continual hardship, they will also understand that along with hardship there is beauty. Life is worth living if an individual embraces the sacrifice with the fulfillment and joy that comes with it.

Through the sacrifice humans experience in life, it is important to look beyond. Unlike the pagans of old, individuals sacrifice to make a deeper meaning in life. People are civilized, cultured, and look to find fulfillment in themselves as well as the world around them.

Contemporary sacrifice is just a sacred act as it was thousands of years ago, but it is up to humanity to appreciate this ceremony they undergo every day.

Cover Image Credit: France 24

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To The Parents Who Deserve Every Single 'Thank You' On Graduation Day

I couldn't have done it without you.


Well, the day has finally come, the day I walk across that stage and have finally earned that diploma. Through the countless hours of studying, the numerous mental breakdowns, and the late nights, I survived.

As I sit here waiting for them to call my name, I can't help but think back on how the past four years went. I can't help but think about all that you have done for me and how I cannot thank you enough.

I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you.

Thank you for the never-ending support.

Thank you for providing me with an environment where I could grow, a place to call home, and a place to return to.

Thank you for pushing me to achieve my dreams and always supporting them no matter what. Thank you for pushing me to get through the tough times and encouraging me to challenge myself.

Thank you for being there for me through the many tears.

Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to take some time and breathe when I felt like everything was getting more and more difficult.

Thank you for teaching me how to prioritize and how to manage my time.

Thank you for the endless advice on what to do with my future, how to handle the challenges, and how to just manage being human.

I could not have gotten through those four years of school without you. I hope to be just as generous, supporting, and as loving as you are.

Thank you.

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