Opinion Paper

Quote:

The notion that value is the central issue of the practice of sacrifice discloses the infinity of riches for which our life is indebted to this basic form. Since we strive to decrease the depth of sacrifice as well as the fact that we perceive it as pain, we are under a pre-occupation that it’s full disappearance will make life attain its highest value. This belief fails to recognize the fact that sacrifice is not necessarily always a foreign barrier that prevents us from achieving our goals. It is in fact the nature of the goal and the way to it. Since we tend to dissect the unity of the problem of out practical relations to things into categories of profit and sacrifice, of obstacle and attainment, and because these categories are typically separated into differentiated temporal stages, we do not realize that if a goal was granted to us without the interposition of obstacles it may no longer stay the same goal.” George Simmel

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Explanation:

Sacrifice in itself is based on the loss of value, or a loss of significant measure. It reflects upon the fact that our lives are highly obliged as a result of the concept of “sacrifice” on the basis of value.

In this passage, Simmel elaborates on the fact that sacrifices can be attributed to the nature of a goal. It is simply a part of the process of attaining the goal and is not due to human behavior. The sacrifice is an inner condition of the goal and the road to achieve it and thus one has to accept to these sacrifices. Also, at times, the sacrifice is an element of the way or method of achieving this goal.

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From an overall perspective, sacrifice should not be always perceived as an external behavior towards the achievement of goal but rather as a part or inherent condition of the goal itself. This human tendency of viewing sacrifice as a barrier can be attributed to the fact that we tend to divide the one-piece or unified nature of the problem into hindrances and accomplishments or successes. The fact is that this model is highly suspect. Since we usually even further into separated sequential parts, it becomes highly flawed and creates a wrong picture of the problem in our minds.

Example:

In setting up a business, a significant amount of initial investment of time and money is required. The founder may regard the decrease in leisure and family time as a sacrifice whereas in fact this decrease in time is an inner condition of his goal of setting up a business. It is his tendency to break down the concept into sacrifices and achievements that leads him to think this way. This model is extremely wrong. He should view it as part of the singular, indivisible part of his goal.

References:

  1. “Studies of Particular Works”. Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 5, World Shakespeare Bibliography 2000. (2001), pp. 642-857.

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