Higher Causes

Friday, March 27, 2009

Suicide bombers serve a higher cause: their god, their ideology, their people, their political party. Hard-working mothers serve a higher cause: their family’s financial and physical well-being. Volunteers serve a higher cause: they may not have the expertise, but they have the heart to help someone that cannot help themselves. That a cause is just or oppressive is irrelevant. It is the human ability to sacrifice self-needs and self-wants, wholly in the pursuit of a greater cause, that is of interest to me.

Awareness of one’s self-identity is a hard thing to give away. People have individual dreams, aspirations, and hopes. They also have fears, doubts, and prejudices. We see, live, and grow with our self-identity all our lives, and yet people can consciously choose to forget the worth of these ‘identities’ in order to further the agenda of a cause.

“Who are you, that we might know one who dared defy us / would champion our plight / might safeguard our family / etc?”

“I am an ordinary person.”

It takes a sober mind and strength of heart to forget yourself, especially if you have considered the options and found out that it was not the ‘profitable’ or the ‘popular’ thing to do, but the ‘right’ thing to do (even if it’s only right in their head). These people have thrown away their voices, that their cause is heard. If they act anonymously, and with competence, their cause is only strengthened.

For what would you live or die for if not for something you believed was bigger than yourself? What can move you so much you cannot help but be caught up in it, and realize, “This was what my life was for”?

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