Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Passions

Omitting discussion of kooky fanatics, I love watching people work at something they are intensely passionate about. They never act out of rote muscle memory or routine or drudgery. Instead, they act out of love, out of caring, out of attention, and out of a deep concern for every aspect of their task. While they may be doing work that is physically exhausting or mentally taxing, I would never refer to their efforts as "labor". You understand that their work is more than just a job or some mundane task that they have set out to accomplish. How can you tell? Well, it's in their eyes, their attitudes, and in the aura that somehow surrounds them. I find that these folks are pretty easy to pick out in the crowd.

In my case, it is my work as a scientist. However, the passions of different folks span a broad spectrum of activities. Just considering some that I know, this spectrum ranges from my pastor and how he looks over his flock, a co-worker who gives his all in pursuing the perfect chili recipe, a man who loves to tinker with and create different gadgets that tend to amaze others with their ingenuity, a friend who designs and builds model airplanes, a student who loves competing in chess tournaments, and an older gentleman whose focusses on his vegetable garden.

I get the very real sense after talking to these different people, that these activities that hold such a high place in their lives in terms of time and energy and money, are not pursued just to fill their schedule, tire them out, or empty their wallets. It is something that excites them and pulls them in, something that they love to talk about and share with others.

What do your passions entail?