One of the strongest emotional tugs a good story delivers to my heartstrings centers on the idea of personal sacrifice. Frequently, at the end of a movie or during the climax of a novel, I find myself a blubbering mess as the hero gives up everything they are in order to save others. Even now, reflecting on some of the most powerful scenes, my eyes glisten slightly. Of course, nothing Hollywood or the publishing industry can do will ever be as powerful as real life sacrifice. Giving of yourself to save and protect others is one of the most honorable actions a person can take. There is no better example of an organization that exemplifies this idea as the United States Military. Thank you Veterans for the sacrifices you have made to keep us and our way of life safe.
While I said before Hollywood comes nowhere near close enough to the idea of real life sacrifice, at least they can offer the rest of us a guide on how to live our lives to honor that sacrifice. In the final scenes of the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks' character Captain Miller leaves Private Ryan with words the rest of us should live by - "Earn this."