A Call For Passionate Living
Are You Strong Enough?
Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.
-Christian Friedrich Hebbel-
To begin with, what is passion? Merriam-Webster defines it as “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.” For me, passion is the feeling you get in your gut and blood that says you need to do something or you’ll explode. Passion is not a feeling or concept for someone with weak character. In order to have passion, you must also possess strength, determination and the belief that anything is possible. When you don’t have passion, it becomes clear to everyone.
Possessing a large ego is often mistaken for having passion. Though the two tend to go hand-in-hand, they are not interchangeable by any means. On ego alone, you have a room full of hot air and many annoyed people. With passion, you have a room full of possibilities and people willing to back you up.
People most commonly associate passion with love and sexuality. You see an attractive stranger and begin to fantasize about them. Your partner looks especially good on a certain day and your mind goes wild. When you think of passion, you see fogged up windows, candles flickering and fruit dipped in chocolate. You hear a saxophone or that song by Marvin Gaye. To these people, passion is sexy and hormonal.
For many people, you wouldn’t use the word passion and your job in the same sentence. Yet, some people would say that they are passionate about their job. You wake up in the morning, smiling, thinking about all you will get done today. For creative people, it’s not hard to be passionate about your work. You see images that you can’t wait to paint or draw. You see your tube of toothpaste and it inspires you to write a symphony, play or poem. You may get little in return for your labor, but you go to bed feeling fulfilled.
Regardless of what side you are on, wars are fought, in part, out of passion. While we should see Bin Laden for the terrorist that he is, his actions are motivated by passion. He is passionate about his religion. He is passionate about his politics. He is passionate about what he believes to be right. He is passionate about causing harm to anyone who stands in his way. Former President Bush felt this same passion. Like Bin Laden, his actions were flawed, unjust and unthinkable to many. Both men are perfect examples of being passionate about a cause and what effect such passion can have on the world.
If you have passion, even if I don’t agree with your ideas, I will respect you. I don’t promise to not try to sway you to my side. As I have my own passion, I assure you, I will not jump to yours. Still, with the common thread of passion, we have something, whatever that something may be. In our world of constant chaos and miscommunication, showing you have passion is often the only true way to be heard. I firmly believe in the above words of the German playwright, Hebbel. While mediocre is accomplished daily with little effort, to achieve greatness, you must have passion and the desire to go beyond the norm. To put it simply, when you live a life without passion, are you really living at all?
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