Remember importance of sacrificing for others
My parents absolutely love the International Buffet down the street from my house. We have gone there quite a lot since I moved to my hometown when I was 6 years old. I never object, because whenever my family and I eat there I go plate after plate after plate filled with crab legs.
I was born in the Philippines, a land of a 1,000 islands, so naturally seafood for me is oxygen. But, my best friend since high school is freakishly and unfortunately allergic to shellfish.
Since we hung out frequently, I might as well have been allergic to shellfish too.
We went to Cape Cod for a wedding and attended a clambake. I couldn't eat any of the free lobster. When we attended any formal event for that matter, I couldn't eat any of the free calamari. When we went to New Orleans, I couldn't eat any of the oysters, scallops, shrimp gumbo, shrimp jambalaya, shrimp burger or everything else found on Forrest Gump's shrimp list.
But as much as I love shellfish, I cared about my friend more and I sacrificed my love for the delicacies of the sea for the valuable time spent with good company.
So this isn't about food, contrary to how much I love it. It's about something I learned from these tiny, sometimes ridiculous moments throughout my college experience.
I've realized sacrifice, whether large or small, is undoubtedly a feat every individual must encounter. After nearly three years of college here at the University, I've witnessed sacrifice genuinely.
I know parents who sacrifice 12 hours of their day for more than three days a week to bring food to the table. Some people in North Africa sacrificed their lives for democracy. We sacrifice going out to parties to study for an exam. My fellow coworkers and I sacrifice five evenings a week to publish a newspaper we believe in.
We recently saw how 410 University students gave up 32 straight hours of their weekend because it helps families faced with the devastating news that their children have cancer.
Regardless of what we are sacrificing for and whom it particularly benefits, we give up a little bit of our time and ourselves because it means the betterment and success of people we care about.
Sometimes, we don't even personally know whom we are sacrificing for, but at least we know they deserve it. Sometimes these are the individuals who need the attention the most.
As I was editing a University article for today's paper, I read about the University's chapter of the Foundation of International Medical Relief of Children. FIMRC's External Vice President Anisha Das said, "We want people to receive health care around the world whether it's people in New Brunswick or in Uganda. Everybody deserves health care especially children."
Reading this got me thinking about sacrifice, especially when it comes to forfeiting our salaries.
There are people in this country who are sick and do not have the money to take care of themselves. Some people are sick because it is a result of years of poor diet and insufficient exercise. But people are deserving of life and the chance to continue their life. Should people die because of their mistakes, or should we save those lives and help them live on to make a change?
Working or even retired individuals give up their earned dollars toward public education, toward our University. No, the money doesn't directly affect them, but it will help the young people, the future of our society, to innovate the unimaginable.
I am not saying I am an expert on any of these issues. I am far from understanding the intricacies of any of it. But what I am saying is that sacrifice is something we should try to think about.
Before we think about how much money we are losing, before we consider paying our taxes and the reforms made in Congress, and before we think about the money we could spend on ourselves, we should remember sacrifice.
Reena Diamante is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies and political science. She is the university editor of The Daily Targum.