Do you love sports? Do you love your family? What is it that you love – I mean really – love?
Almost without exception – well, actually, on reflection, I guess I’m kinda just saying that. Truth is, it probably is “without exception” – that when I ask students to fill-in-the-blank, they all say virtually the same thing – to this one question, or one blank. What I’d like to know is – What would you say? What word would you use to fill in the blank?
Hopefully by now you’re asking – what’s the question? Well, it goes like this: “Live every day like it’s __________________________________________.” So tell me now, how would you fill in that blank?
So – virtually all my students have indicated that they’d fill-in-the-blank the same way: By using two words. Notice that there’s only one blank, generally allowing for only one word, Still, students seem most comfortable filling in that one blank with two words – these two words: “your last.”
Is that what you thought too? “Your last?” In my experience, that is the most popular answer to that fill-in-the-blank. But what does that mean? Do something meaningful with your life? Be an example? Live without regrets? Indulge until the last minute? What? What does that mean – to live every day like it’s your last?
I would submit to you, my dear readers, that there is a clearer way to fill in that blank. A meaningful way – a fill-in-the-blank that is globally understood…
Here’s my fill-in-the-blank: “Live every day like it’s…Christmas!”
What happens at Christmas? We give gifts. And what we get in return, that feeling that we get, that feeling that is attached to the simple act of giving gifts – this is priceless, memorable, and magical!
But where does this magical lead us? Hmmm – perhaps you’ll be surprised – and perhaps you will agree…
We are most effective as people, as individuals, as humans – we are most effective when we give ourselves away – when what we do is a gifting to others – when the lion’s share of our existence is spent sacrificing ourselves.
Wait a minute! Wait, wait, wait! Are we talkin’ about sacrifice? Sacrifice!?! What’s this about sacrifice?
As in, give yourself away? Yes.
Aye – get this ladies and gentlemen: the greatest, most precise, and most correct one-word synonym for love is: Sacrifice.
By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman
Dr. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.