Where does passion come from? How does one acquire it, utilize it, and pass it forward? What is the goal for a person who embraces passion in life? I want to know…
The Webster’s dictionary defines passion as, “compelling emotion.” (Random House, 1997). There are other definitions for the noun, but I won’t disclose the intimate details. 🙂 For now I will accept the first definition as the strongest and best meaning.
Without passion we are dull and lifeless humans. The lack of “compelling emotion” would reduce us to automatic robots who act more like Data on Star Trek. The very essence of all emotions is passion, and this is what separates us from other living creatures on the planet.
So, why am I passionate about life? I had to ponder for a long while, and research the depths of my mind and my soul. I had to take a risk and step out of my own comfort zone to pursue the very reason behind the question.
Imagine that Passion is the lead performer on center stage. Passion is brisk, witty, funny, fast-paced, and brimming with all the positive ingredients in life. But, just as Passion gives energy to one’s life, it must require a foundation from which that energy originates. That foundation is purpose, hope, and faith. To be able to build upon the core values, the beliefs, and the certainty that seems so uncertain in volatile times… that is what makes Passion continue, and that is how Passion pays it forward.
As of today, my passion for living is right where I live. Within the walls of my home I wake up to the faces whom I hold most dear to my heart. I smile back and give them a hug and a kiss. I make their choice of breakfast; I help with their education; I wash their clothes (actually, I’m teaching them to wash their own clothes); I try and keep the home tidy and clean. I spend time with them as they tell me their stories of the latest video game they’ve mastered. I play “tea party” with the little princess who calls me “my girl.” I sit next to the amazing woman who gave birth to me so many years ago, and now it’s my turn to take care of her in her sunset years. I laugh and talk to the man who promised his heart and life-long devotion to me when we were still floundering young adults.
I know that I cannot speak for everyone when it comes to true passion in life. Everyone is walking a different path, and it’s not always easy to be empathetic to someone else… but we can try. We can choose to live our own lives with exuberance, and pass the torch to the next person. We can figuratively “light a fire” under someone else’s hind-end when all hope seems lost.
I pray that whoever reads this will find the encouragement to keep going strong. Sometimes it takes another person to reach out and give a little push. To the man who has lost his job: if you can’t find a new job, you can find the strength to make one. To the woman who lost her husband: you can find the strength to move forward and love your children and family. To the teenager who feels so alone: you can find the strength to seek a mentor who will encourage you and support you during these years. To the person with a debilitating disease: you can find the strength to seek the treatment and possible cure. To the person who has reached the financial end of the rope: you can find the strength to seek the help to keep you afloat and put you on the road to recovery.
I have been in all of these places except one. I know that it seems overwhelming, and life has lost its luster. But, when the light of passion has burned out, there are others whose flame is burning strong. They can help reignite it within you. You have to seek; you have to be active. And when you’ve found it, build up a reserve, and pay it forward.