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| Friday, April 3, 2020

Growing up I thought I knew what sacrifice was. I experienced the sense of accomplishment that comes with giving up your aisle row seat on the plane for an elderly person or saving the last cookie in the box for your sibling. I did not like it, but I was sacrificing my happiness for someone else’s, and I felt gratified in a way. However, I realize now how naive I had been. I never experienced true sacrifice.

As a Catholic, the truest form of sacrifice I know of is Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross to provide salvation for all of mankind. I was taught to live the word of Jesus, but giving up a cookie does not compare to giving up your life for others in order to be the bridge to heaven. We all have our own cross to bear each and every day, but, in light of our current situation, that cross feels a lot heavier. We all have been stripped of something, left feeling cheated in the wake of a global pandemic. To the class of 2020, you have lost precious time, memories with your friends and, now, a typical graduation. To all those studying abroad this spring and in the summer, you have been stripped of experiences and travel opportunities. To all the students who have had to abruptly pick up and leave campus without any closure from Our Lady’s University, my heart goes out to you. I feel like I have gotten hit with a triple whammy because I fall into all three of those categories. I was supposed to walk and receive a diploma in May. I had been hired as a program assistant to help lead the Engineering study abroad program in Rome this summer, and, sadly, I did not get to walk around the lakes one last time before I had to return home. Yeah, my life could be a lot worse, I know. I also know you all have had to give up something for the greater good of everyone else. I am sad every day thinking about the alternatives and how nothing has gone as planned. I thought I was desensitized to bad news until I heard the news about graduation. That was the cherry on top. If I just continue to drown in my sorrows, what good will that do for anyone?

My Lenten promise of not cursing and attending Mass every week quickly fell through. (I know one is excusable during this time and the other is not, but I am only human.) I feel like I have failed in this sense, but during this time in my life I have unwillingly given up a lot of things, so I am offering that up instead. I have decided to realign my mindset to not thinking about what I alone have given up but how collectively we are all sacrificing together. We are fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves by sacrificing time and togetherness.  I have no doubt we will all come out of this a lot stronger and closer than ever. Maybe as a community this is the closest thing we will have to a true sacrifice, and if it is, we are fortunate. Let’s offer it up to the greater good.


Grace McNamee


Mar. 31

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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