merits of martyrdom

what good is sacrifice to a nonexistent god? when nothing is gained from the losses incurred, when the damages serve no one well, sacrifice becomes sabotage. no merit exists for the self-appointed martyr, whose motives will forever be questioned.

are you doing this to be seen differently by the world, or because you want everyone else to see the world differently because of you? anna deavere smith’s question about artists rings true for anyone who does something for “the greater good.” because the sobering reality every lens shows us is that injustice and evil have a permanent residence in our world. there simply is no greater good, because as much as we are all in this together, we are in it, first and foremost, for ourselves. that for all the progress we deem laudable, there’s so much work to be done. that at the heart of altruism is and always will be a kernel of narcissism.

to diminish the significance of someone else’s beliefs in the name of sacrifice, to deny yourself and those you love in the name of a nonexistent greater good certainly guarantees that you will, indeed, be seen differently. the acts of heroism by those whose demons hold their hands at every turn are acts of cowardice. we are only as noble and as strong as our greatest flaws. any injustice done in the name of justice slanders justice’s name. and you will not sign your certificate of sacrifice with my blood. you. will. not.

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