Do you remember when the sight of your own shadow was a marvel to behold? When lines on the sidewalk meant something? When the height of a giraffe or the swift swoop of a bird in flight captivated you because the viewing of it seemed so new, so fresh, and so compelling? These aren't just the simple wonders of a child, relegated to the years before we become teenagers and are so over everything we encounter. These are the viewpoints of the passionate. We behold those things that are bigger than us - nay, other than us - and we sit in rapt wonder because those of us who have discovered our passion realize that we are mere stewards of it. It is not ours to own and manhandle, but rather, like our shadow, it is constantly with us, along for the ride. And as its tour guide we must direct that passion into areas that are challenging yet safe - areas that allow it to grow and become stronger without damaging its idealism and humble outlook.
We do not possess our passion; rather it, us.
I spent the day with my daughter yesterday. A slight fever kept her out of school. We went to the zoo, out to eat lunch, to Granny Lu and PawPaw's house, and for a walk at the mall. In every locale, she is drawn to the sight, feel, sound, and potential of her surroundings. She observes with the innocent attention that is easy for a 16-month-old to muster but often eludes her 30-year-old dad.
I believe that each of us has a passion within and it is the journey of our lives to name, nurture, and nestle that passion to the forefront of our lives.
Yesterday, as my daughter stood in the lorikeet exhibit, small birds whizzing overhead in search of visitors who were willing to pay $1 for their nectar, she looked down (pictured above). Amazed at the difference between the shadow and light, she clunkily danced between the intangible line the sun cast on the pavement. Unable to use intelligible words or heady science to describe what she was witnessing, she simply enjoyed the chance to step between two separate worlds. The not-knowing of the basic phenomenon allowed her to enjoy it all the more.
I believe that we, too, need to spend time in the enjoyment of our -ness. To be ourselves and be community, to be parents with sick kids who have to skip out on work, and to be kids who don't have to understand it all and are still able to enjoy everything.
Shadow and light are not opposite sides of the same coin, and neither are passion and realism, work and life - things for us to figure out and codes for us to crack. Rather, the child in us (or the child near us) must remember that we don't need explanations. We just need to be.
#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?