The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Passion

Above all things in my life, perhaps, I follow passion, and seek the capacity for passion in others. With passion, all the rest pales in relevance. Without it: well, all the rest just pales.

Passion is the spark that makes us human. Passion is the blazing light within us that justifies our continued existence. We, each and every one of us, take up oxygen and nutrition and other resources from the gaiasphere, and give back carbon dioxide and heat and a few other by-products in return. We drift by other people's lives, maybe we touch them, maybe we move on. Without passion, that is all we do. A virus could do as well.

I don't care if it has monetary value. Spirit has never been something that has been fiscally quantifiable.

I don't care how strange or weird or unusual or just plain silly a passion is ... so long as it is genuine, and so long as its pursuit directly or indirectly brings some part of that genuineness across to enrich the lives of others. Call it respect for others, if you will.

I don't care if the attempt falls short one time, ten times, a hundred ... so long as you don't rest the success of the attempt completely upon someone else, so long as each time the attempt is truly the best you have to offer, so long as the attempt never settles upon a given place as "good enough" (and thus so long as you keep trying), and so long as each new attempt tries for something a little better. Passion simply doesn't allow for anything less. If you are willing to just throw something slipshod together, what you are following is self-amusement, not passion: something that will become very evident the first time its pursuit requires any real effort.

(It seems the one thing I absolutely cannot stand, here, is a "half-assed" attempt. I can understand it - just - where a job-only-for-money is involved: although even there I cannot agree with it. I cannot understand it where the focus is something one genuinely likes: if you are not going to give of yourself within what you enjoy, why bother? And if you cannot be bothered to give the utmost of what you have to offer within what you believe to be your passion: well, something is very wrong, here ... and "abhor" would not be too strong a word to use for my reaction.)

I don't care if you use my name, my identity, my reputation as an intermediary to achieve a goal ... so long as you genuinely believe that what you have to offer, given half a fair chance, could have achieved that goal independently of my help. In fact, I can't think of too many other uses - let alone better ones - for a reputation, than to give a hand to others who have earned it by their dedication, their determination, their passion ... but who just happen to be as yet unknown.

I don't care if I have to work late into the night and into the next morning with you on a project ... so long as it represents something in which you genuinely believe and within which you have truly offered the best you had to offer.

But: I cannot spark what Is Not There.

After years of repeated shrugs and whatever's and good enough's from a person, it is not impossible that, in that person at least, I may begin to lose the willingness to seek.

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