Sacrifice: something given up for the sake of a better cause.
Ceremony requires sacrifice.
All ceremonies have a cost, a price for the participants to be involved. Perhaps the biggest sacrifice ceremonies demand is your focus and attention. Turn off the cell phones. Quiet your mind. Be focused on the work at hand.
The time, money, and energy required to prepare and participate in a ceremony is a sacrifice. It should be recognized and treated as such. A wedding guest may travel thousands of miles and spend substantial amounts of money to participate in a wedding ceremony. Their sacrifice is an integral part of their emotional connection to the ceremony.
The higher the price paid, the deeper the emotional attachment to the group. This is why hazing rituals work, and why, even after all of these years of trying, colleges can’t make them go away, because they work. Recognizing that hazing works is not an endorsement, just an observation on why it is so difficult to make it go away.
In the case of a cockpit ceremony, the sacrifice is obvious. The pilot and co-pilot spent significant time meticulously checking switches together for each flight. The sacrifice in the announcement ceremony is equally real, immediately giving your full attention to the announcer.
Even a short daily ceremony is a signifiant sacrifice over the course of a year. For example, a team of eight people attending a 15-minute long, daily status ceremony consumes more than 500 work hours each year, simply to run one short daily ceremony.
We must continually ask ourselves, Is the ceremony worth the sacrifice? The sacrifice is real. The value delivered by the ceremony must be equally real.