Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about sacrifice.
In most of the world’s greater cultures, sacrifice is a central principle of life. Christians believe that in order to become “saved,” one must follow the example of Christ’s sacrifice by choosing God’s will over their own desires. Buddhism holds that one must deny oneself the commission of “non-virtuous deeds” in order to reach a higher level of enlightenment and a more advanced level of self awareness in future incarnations. Hasidic Judaism still encourages symbolic rites of sacrifice in modern worship ceremonies, in order to prove one’s devotion to a divine purpose.
And I totally get that. To me, all of those practices make sense to me on a basic philosophical level. The idea that sacrificing something you want—such as your beloved vices, freedom to do whatever the hell you want, or even just a couple of hours of your time—to gain something you want more—such as eternal life, an enduring feeling of “goodness,” or even not coming back as a dung beetle—is a good way to gain perspective in life…well that’s a totally reasonable idea. I too believe that the path to righteousness is laden with pitfalls and thorns or whatever, and that nothing good ever came easy. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, etc. Blah, blah, blah.
But the assertion that I have to expose myself to the kind of mouth-breathing sweat monkeys that populate my local gym on a daily basis, spend ridiculous amounts of money on some vitamin regimen that claims to miraculously suck all the fat from my body like it’s some kind of immaculate cell contraction, or (gasp!) stop eating CARBS in order to lose a couple of pounds? Well that’s just fraaking ridiculous, I say.
When it comes to weight loss, whatever happened to “by the power of faith, every enduring work is accomplished?” I ask you!? They should’ve said, “by the power of Grayskull, SlimFast and the Bow Flex are all enduring works accomplished.” That would’ve been a little closer to the mark, I think.
Anyway, I think I’ve made my point. Now, I’ll just stand here holding onto this solid metal post, with my foot tied to this string…