For a Christian, the Easter weekend recalls how Jesus died on the cross and rose again to redeem the world. But for everyone else, what is Easter to them? A nice, long weekend? Sure, it boils down to just that for many. But I also think that, subtle as the reminder is, it also highlights values that people sometimes prefer to ignore in today’s society.

Some may disagree with me. But from a quick scan of today’s news on various sites, there is evidence to support this fact. One that surprised me most (in a happy-surprise kind of way) was a post on a Sydney Morning Herald dating blog titled “Struggle, service, courage and sacrifice”, which asks whether people still apply these values to their relationships. What I want to know is this – do people apply these values to their lives?

I think that the principles of struggle and courage are looked upon with favour most of the time. However, I feel that they are not appreciated in their full sense. Struggle and hard work is acceptable as a means of attaining prestige, as something that leads you to look good in the eyes of others. And courage evokes images of heroes, as they perform good deeds in front of hundreds of impressed spectators.  But what about the struggle of a father who must arrive day-in and day-out at a job he hates or is overqualified for, just to feed his family? Or the courage of a young woman who keeps the child in her womb rather than opting for an abortion? In my humble opinion, these generally unnoticed acts have much more worth than all the fame and money in the world!

It’s a similar deal for the principles of service and sacrifice. These could be even more misunderstood, in a time that favours egocentric ways of thinking. Service and sacrifice are seen as good if they benefit me, myself and I, but when it comes to sacrificing for others or serving them it becomes a little too difficult. So many relationships suffer because we can’t give up tiny details that don’t matter in the larger scheme of things. And the idea that we should serve others for no reason at all is made to seem so repulsive. But this is where people lose out, as living a life of service not only makes us stronger and develops our character – it also brings so much more happiness than the emptiness that comes from just living for our own pleasure!

So whether you are Christian or not, I hope you can appreciate the life lessons that the celebration of Easter has to offer. What other values do you think we can learn from Easter?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.