Passion (n. intense enthusiasm: a strong liking or enthusiasm for a subject or activity)
As an aspiring dream whisperer, it's a word you'd think I would use frequently.
But I don't.
This didn't occur to me until Stephanie Fierman, the CMO at MediaCom reached out and asked if I might have something to contribute to a piece she was writing.
I had nothing to give her.
Am I not passionate, I wondered.
I then recalled the interchange between Tevye and Golda in The Fiddler on the Roof, when he asks, “Do you love me?” She responds:
For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?
Asking again, am I? Are you? Passionate?
For your consideration:
If there is something you have to do, not because you are required to, but because that thing is like the air that you breathe, and without it you will die, that is passion. Only you don't recognize that you have to do it, because like the air, it's always there for you to do. That's how I feel about daring you to dream.
You want something, but are so afraid it is unattainable, that you circle and circle, like a tiger, but ever wary, you rarely pounce. I feel this way a bit about parenting, about really engaging. Of showing up. Just to be there. But it's scary when you open yourself up to something more than command and control, to giving up enough power that there can be an actual relationship. Here the passion may be waiting to be unleashed, but it's there.
There's a book you can't stop reading or an idea you can't stop talking about (like Daring Greatly) because it has sunk deep into your consciousness, changing how you think, what you do — how you interact. That too is passion.
Golda was right, me thinks.
It may be hard to know enough to say — Yes, I am in love, or Yes, I am passionate. But in either case, we can recognize the fruit.