Stories of sacrifices often strikes a chord to most people. Why? Interesting to consider it actually. I am more inclined to think that it has something to do with the fact that we are so selfish by nature and even more so by the blindness that has clouded our westernised culture.
The Martyr walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug, on the spot where we were now standing. The blast ripped the Martyr to pieces which fell along with pieces of the enemy. Ball-bearings shot through the alley and wounded two children, but the people in the mosque were saved. The man lay in pieces on the ground, his own children having seen how his last embrace saved the people of the village. Quoted from here.
Yes, we need to learn how to think of others more and self less. And it is not easy, as long as your attachment is strong in this chunk of rock we call earth. True sacrifices are ones that are not compelled, not expecting any feedback, no… ones who just give up self, knowing that their reward surely is coming from a different dimension and outlook.
Wars are unfortunately the breeding ground of some of the most selfish, inhumane acts of man against other human beings; it is also the same source for the most sacrificial acts that we can see in this modern world.
This strong attraction to a scarce element is why many stories work so well to the general audience. Here is an element in which many wished they were able to conduct, but in their hearts know how they are failures in the same regard.
Story: A man who for the love of the girl of his dreams, would endure the life of an ordinary, mundane garbage collector, all for the sake of catching a glimpse of the girl of his dreams, every alternate day.
Story 2: An angel forsaking his angelic heritage, gives up immortality for the soul of a girl of his desires, who squandered her life in worldly pursuit. The fallen angel is then beaten into a pulp on protecting the resurrected girl from muggers. As the last drop of blood touches the ground, he realised the girl escaped. He smiles and sleeps.
Certainly this is a fascinating theme to draw on. Done rightly, with the right tensions of human frailty and greek tradegy, it can tug the heart of the reader anytime.