Many Forms of Sacrifice
Sacrifice, as we know it, is something we give up for the sake of a better cause. When we care about something or someone, we willingly and sometimes unknowingly act on selflessness. In the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, written by Mitch Albom, the main character, Eddie, dies only to have five encounters that shine a spotlight on his life. In the process of learning why he meets these people, each character also teaches him valuable lessons that help him understand the significance of his life; among the many lessons, one of them is sacrifice.
A sacrifice comes unknowingly. Eddie journeys through a pumpkin-colored sky and then winds up in a yellow sea that changes color. Eddie immediately feels at peace and is no longer in pain. He thinks about the little girl he tries to save on the Pier. Reaching his final destination, he wakes up in a teacup. The setting takes Eddie back to the pier when he was a child. The first person Eddie meets in heaven is Joseph Corvelzchik, also known as the Blue Man. Joseph comes from a poor Polish family, and as a child Joseph often gets nervous and encounters many problems. In hopes to cure his nervousness, he takes a poison that eventually turns him greyish blue. Although Eddie does not know the Blue Man, he is able to make a connection when the Blue Man’s death is revealed to him. As a child, Eddie runs after a ball into the street causing the Blue Man to swerve his car to avoid hitting Eddie. In the process of swerving his car, the Blue Man gets into a car accident. He steps out of the car alive, but because he is in so much shock, he has a heart attack and dies. Eddie astonished and shamed at how he could have caused the accident, apologizes profusely and believes he is there so the Blue Man can punish him. The Blue Man tells Eddie, he has it all wrong and explains that the story of his death is to teach him that all lives are interconnected. His death came as a sacrifice so that Eddie could live. The Blue Man tells Eddie that there are, ‘no random acts,’ and that people die every day so others can survive. “During my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens everyday.” (48). The essential lesson in this chapter is that all people are connected, but it also features sacrifice when the Blue Man dies. Sometimes we don’t recognize the risks and sacrifices of other people because we either: do not know the person, or we are unaware of our surroundings. Unknowingly to the young Eddie, Joseph saves Eddie’s life, at the cost of his life. As the Blue Man begins to take his leave Eddie questions about the survival of the little girl at the pier. The Blue Man replies, “No life is a waste.” (50).
Sacrifice is courageous. The second person Eddie encounters is his military commanding officer, whom he served under in the army. The setting takes us to the rubbles of a combat battlefield that signifies the Captain’s death. During a mission assignment in the Philippines,...