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Who has made the greatest self-sacrifice?

  1. Oct 3, 2004 #1
    Life, body, freedom, family, country, recognition - what individual has most selflessly yielded one of these or more to benefit the greater good?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2004 #2
    not many, most people do not believe in the greater good, not even if it means curing cancer and what not
  4. Oct 4, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    How can one measure "the most" when so many have given everything?

    When I think of giving one's life, I think of every soldier who gave his life in order to save others.

    When I think of selflessness - Mother Theresa.

    Country - I think of George Washington who could have been King. Instead, after defeating the Brits, he chose to surrender his sword for the greater good of freedom from tyrany. It was one of the most important moments in US history. It is said that grown men cried at the sight.

    Family - I think of every good parent

    Freedom - I think of the Vietnamese who braved an ocean on crowded fishing boats in order to reach America. I went to college with two sisters who were the only two survivors from a boat that started out with over 90 souls aboard; as they say. They sank about five miles from the US coastline. Tam and Tram swam to shore.

    Recognition - the Red Cross workers in Florida

    Body - all of my best dates :tongue2: [when young and single of course, honey :uhh: ]
  5. Oct 4, 2004 #4


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    I`m sure Jesus is meant to be on the top such a list.
    But on a less religious note, Gandhi receives the greatest admiration from my part.
  6. Oct 4, 2004 #5


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    I know someone who fits the description of life, body, freedom, family, country, recognition and selflessness. You can love someone so much that you care more about their well being than your own life, and I hold great respect for that, although it's sad.

    Then there are people literally willing to give up their own life for another, they will remain unknown.
  7. Oct 4, 2004 #6

    Beautiful recounts of those whose feet I even am unworthy to wash, yet who would grant me my own freedom. I, though, am scared to make such personal forfeit.


    The man from Galilee is the epitome of sacrifice for over a billion of Earth's population. Hopefully His example will save as many mortals as souls.


    The majority of the selfless throughout history are indeed the unknown - maybe it's anonymity in large part that gets us into heaven.
  8. Oct 4, 2004 #7
    Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD:
    WWI and WWII. Greatest number of people who gave all for country and victory. But it was never really a victory. People died, that is not victorious but brutel and unethical.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  9. Oct 4, 2004 #8
    Lovely lines The Bob, so sad too.

    A big hero of mine is Martin Luther King. He did so much good and gave his life trying to overturn state prejudice, injustice and discrimination.

    I went to the MLK memorial museum in Atlanta last year - it was an emotional and powerful experience. What a guy.

    Was it the greatest ever self sacrifice? No, but it was the greatest he as an individual could ever make. As The Bob's quote above reminds us though, he was but one of millions who died for what they believed in - all made the ultimate sacrifice.
  10. Oct 4, 2004 #9
    Every day people make sacrifices working in poorly-funded nursing homes and hospitals for low pay and difficult conditions. Without these noble workers, things would be even worse then they already are for the less fortunate among us.
  11. Oct 4, 2004 #10
    Jesus Christ.

    Need more a more contemporary-based answer?
    -- Mother Theresa.
  12. Oct 4, 2004 #11
    In response to The Bob, how many of you have witnessed the countless crosses (stars, etc.) marching off to the horizon to keep remembrance of those horrific wars? Each marks a man, or boy; each took many tears from those they loved. What of us?
  13. Oct 4, 2004 #12


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    I think those who have gone unknown, who have quietly done what they felt was needed for the greater good without seeking recognition, have probably given the greatest sacrifice.
  14. Oct 4, 2004 #13


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    As I mentioned in another thread, Tamsen Donner has to be a leading candidate.
  15. Oct 5, 2004 #14
    Nobody here mentined Nelson Mandela yet. He spent 27yrs in prison for going against a regime that was morally unjustifiable. He was recently voted the 'Greatest African' of all time AND 'Greatest South African' of all time. Many of the people who fought against apartheid in south africa didn't only end up in jail,they were also physically and mentally tortured,some of them till the point of death (Steve Biko). What Nelson went through those 27yrs we cannot begin to comprehend. How much hate and anger he is justified in having towards his oppressors,but when he came out of prison he forgave them and welcomed them with open arms which along the way led to him and de Klerk being awarded the Nobel peace prize.

    I don't think you can top him when it comes to the sacrifice he (and other freedom fighters)have made. He sacrificed his life,family,career,freedom etc for his country.What more can you ask of a man?
    He is also acknowledged as the worlds greatest and most respected statesman.
    Can you think of anyone who would go to New York and basically tell George Bush that he is an idiot for invading Iraq(more diplomatically of course)?

    Any opinions?
  16. Oct 5, 2004 #15
    I have. I spent a week in Belgium to remember the world war victims and to learn about the wars and I couldn't keep my emotion in. I had to cry at almost every cemetory and it was not nice to see. I also found a soldier with my surname at the Menin Gate and I spent 15 minutes there on my, just remembering this one soldier, that I never knew, and wishing I had time to do the same for every soldier that died.

    It made me think a lot and that is why small things are starting not to upset me because there are more important things to do with your time.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  17. Oct 5, 2004 #16
    A great man he is but I am in a very emotion state so will post later as I think if I think about I will start crying again.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  18. Oct 5, 2004 #17
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  19. Oct 5, 2004 #18


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    It is such a shame that apartheid is a dutch word :frown: it never should have been used.
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