Heroism is courage trumpeted. Self-sacrifice is more modest about it’s virtues. I’m sure I could be heroic, blindly powered by adrenaline but self-sacrifice is a quiet, reasoned, often repeated decision, cousin to commitment. I’ll readily say ‘yes, I’ll take you shopping this week’, but every week? Until one of us drops dead? Only such commitment provides the isolated or disadvantaged the structure and security they need.
Current attitudes are hard to swim against. Survival of the most fit often means survival of the most ruthless, and those who care for others are seen as being naively exploited. If self-fulfillment is the greatest fulfilment of all, then those who daily/weekly sacrifice their time and strength for others are not reaching their true potential. Whereas, even if unseen or unappreciated, the self-sacrificing are bursting through the bounds of instinct, to a life of greater meaning.