Sacrifice and Service

On US Memorial Day, I'd like to take a minute again this year and thank the families of those who fell in service to our country.

In prosperous times, it's tempting to think of leaders as those who make the most money, who are "in charge," or who have the most authority.  The Lead Change Group stands for a model of leadership as influence.  Everyone is a leader to the degree they influence others.  Service to others is influential.  Leaders serve their sphere of influence.  If our goal is to expand our sphere of influence, we may or may not be successful.  But if we expand our service, our sphere of influence will grow. Those who paid the greatest sacrifice should influence every one of us.

We remember today those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  The price is high because the freedom is valuable.  Many gave their lives in service to our present generation.  How should we respond?

  1. We must stop forcing our children to sacrifice for us.  Our US deficit is embarassing.  We must leave the world better than we found it.
  2. We must step up our willingness to sacrifice.  For me, that means making some hard decisions.  We must constantly examine ourselves with close friends who know us.  It's too easy to rationalize ourselves out of sacrifice.
  3. We must live all out in service to others.  The death of soldiers doesn't purchase freedom.  The effort of a people willing to die earned our freedom.  Sometimes we must sacrifice our comfort to pursue the dreams and opportunities purchased for us by those who came before us.

I am grateful for the sacrifice made by those who were wounded or died to pay for my freedom.  We have such wondeful resources paid by the lives of so many.  I hope my life passes along and justifies the sacrifices made for me.

Now I want to thank those who died by examining and, if necessary, changing the direction of my life.  How about you?  Would you share a comment honoring a sacrifice made for you?  What was sacrificed?  What is (or what will be) your response?  Let's purpose to honor the sacrifice.