Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today's Lesson: Passion

I was infected today.

I caught the burning fire of passion that springs deeply from the soul of someone living a life of purpose, conviction, and a commitment to a cause greater than herself.

After lunch, I enjoyed a brief conversation with a student and a colleague in the cafeteria. The topic: Disability Awareness Month. Only a handful of weeks away, this student, who coordinates (and founded, by the way) the month, was sharing her thoughts about the upcoming series of programs to educate the campus community about issues surrounding persons with disabilities, and perhaps more importantly, to celebrate all of the abilities they have.

As she began to share the history and evolution of the awareness month, the room (which is pretty big) was filled with a light radiating from her. It was unmistakable how important this topic is to her. Each word she spoke seemed carefully crafted, yet rolled effortlessly off her tongue, as if it were a completely improvised monologue she had been practicing her whole life. I couldn't help but feel the passion myself. I went back to my office and immediately started thinking about how I could help her pull off this year's program. I was in awe.

Passion is an amazing phenomenon, and I sometimes think it's misunderstood. People confuse passion with excitement. Being enthusiastic about something is not the same as being passionate about it. Passion runs so much deeper. It's not a fleeting emotion or an expression of what has temporarily moved you. It is you. It's not the flame. It's the fuel that sustains the fire.

There are over six billion people on this planet. How many of them do you suppose wake up every day with the kind of passion this student has? With the ambition to do something great, to be something great? Do you?

I was inspired today. Thanks Steph.

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