When I was in Nepal I went to a religious festival in the Himalayas. It was a combination of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other rituals that were unfamiliar to me.
There were lines of people stretching up a winding road all the way to the altar where animals were sacrificed to Siva (or Kali, I can’t remember). These animals had been groomed all year for this occasion and people (most living in poverty) only brought the best of their live stock. I saw roosters, rabbits, goats, and other animals, all perfectly quiet, being lead and carried to the altar to be slaughtered and then handed to the “untouchables” to be prepared for the feast by the side of the dirt road.
I took many photos but not one single picture of the actual sacrifice of an animal showed up on my film. Every photo of the alter where the throats of animals were cut turned out blank. I found this mysterious.
Today I am inspired to think of all the sacrifices people make that we never see or hear about, sacrifices that do not show up on the film.
How many mothers have gone without something so a child can have something special?
How many people have left secret gifts for others without claiming credit?
How many strangers have done the right thing in a given moment where nobody noticed and then went on their way?
I have had friends sneak money into my purse when I went through hard times. I have watched people give away things they needed to someone who needed them more.
I have experienced generosity and unrequited kindness in so many ways and I am thankful for all the people and the acts of sacrifice that never showed up in the pictures.