How do you define sacrifice?

by Molly Cantrell-Kraig on June 14, 2012

I’ve been thinking about the nature of sacrifice as it relates to independence over the past few days. Specifically, I’ve been thinking of how sacrifice applies to the tenets and philosophies of Women With Drive Foundation (WWDF). The concept of sacrifice is central to the establishment of this organization, and I hope you’ll allow me to share a brief post with you to let you know how important the concept of sacrifice is to me as a driver of our organization.

Sacrifice, in my opinion, is the willing allowance/surrender of one’s strength for the empowerment of another. Sometimes this surrender is temporary; sometimes, it is a wholesale transfer of energy. I think of how none of us got to where we are without the sacrifice of another. Perhaps it was a parent who worked two jobs in order to pay our college tuition. Perhaps it was a mentor who helped us to get a foot in the door at our first job that led to our success in our industry/field.

Sacrifice, described in physical terms, reminds me of the act of lighting one candle with another. There is a point at which the flame from one candle ignites the wick of the other. For a split second, both flames “lower,” or grow dimmer, as the transfer of energy flows from one source to the other. However, once lit, both flames grow to their original strength.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all the reported miracles grow. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Through WWDF, we hope to serve the same function. Our organization serves as the conduit or transfer point of energy from one source of strength to another.

The women we serve possess the same capacity for illumination as the unlit candle. Their lives are an example of potential energy that is unharnessed until we, as an organization, provide the resources and structure for her to fuel her own progression. It is exciting work to be sure.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. …every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t believe in 100% pure “bootstrapping.” I don’t think that anyone achieves anything completely and wholly on his or her own. We are each a product of the efforts of many lives and influences as we reach our goals. Further, I also believe that we are each responsible for “paying it forward” and for investing something of ourselves in the lives of others.

For what it’s worth, there is a sacrifice on the part of those we serve. They meet us halfway, so to speak, and surrender their own energies by participating and completing the program. I wrote a haiku a few months ago that summarizes for me the idea of progress through sacrifice and surrender:

Renewal and death: / duality, paradox / within the seed head.

Each of us holds the fuel of our own advancement. Each of us has the capacity to evolve into the fruition of who we are meant to be. Are we willing to sacrifice what is needed in order to do so? Can you recall people in your life who helped you to become who you are? Would you like to help a woman achieve independence? Donate here.

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Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cate Colgan June 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Always been a believer in the old “Giving a Hand Up instead of a Handout” and this is exactly What I think of with WWD Molly :)

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Molly Cantrell-Kraig June 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thanks Cate! You are one of our brightest stars in our cheerleader universe! :D Much love, M.

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