ATLAS SHRUGGED is a book of immense proportions that has shifted my thinking significantly. In the way I assess a situation, perceive a person’s value, and choose an action, now, the first lens and yardstick that I use is the book’s philosophy. Existence exists. A morality of reason. I am, therefore I’ll think.
The chapter “This is John Galt speaking” dismantles and molds that big, solid ball of ideas. John Galt spoke for 58 pages. I listened for four nights. I realized that we use many big words without enough caution or understanding. One of them is sacrifice, which from now on I would not be too careless to utter. Below is the excerpt which has redefined my understanding of the word:
‘Sacrifice’ does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. ‘Sacrifice’ does not mean the rejection of the evil for the for the sake of the good, but of the good for the for the sake of the evil. ‘Sacrifice’ is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t.
If you wish to save the last of your dignity, do not call your best actions ‘sacrifice’: that terms brands you as immoral. If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty. If a man dies fighting for his own freedom, it is not a sacrifice: he is not willing to live as a slave; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of man who’s willing.
To be continued.