Sweat dripping from every pore, short stabbing gasps of air, blood, adrenaline pulsing tumultuously, almost to the point of utter collapse. Visual murder compared to the inner sensations of absolute satisfaction. An extreme fatigue so rewarding it is repeated daily, the gem of existence: ballet. My drink, my dreams, my air–ballet is my passion. Passion is man’s outlet for stress and window for success.
Nine years I have studied the art of ballet. It is rush and my release, it occupies my every subconscious thought. Accompanying me more faithfully than any shadow, it brings blessings and rewards, heartache and frustration. The sheer effort of physical exertion assuages my qualms more effectively than any drug. Infatuations are not life’s answers to happiness but rather liberation in times of strain.
Looking back on history some of the greatest persons ever to walk this Earth became renowned during or following periods of vast unrest. Mahatma Gandhi it might be said had a passion for peace. His nonviolent movement in response to the British domination of India showed unyielding opposition to intolerance and oppression. Mother Theresa was passionate in her endeavor to help others. Our founding fathers, activists in our struggle for freedom from supremacy, had a passion for liberty. These advocates of change brought about splendid transformations in all manners of life.
Observations of successful people in society reveal a common trait. Persons whose names blacken the pages of history books and biographies did not arrive there by chance. Something set them apart, sorting out the difference between just going through motions and creating the motions. Eleanor Roosevelt did not inspire others because she behaved as all other First Ladies before her time. She reformed the image of a lady’s duties through her actions and example.
As conformity falls farther to the wayside, interest-driven people are more widespread. Beaten paths fall to ruin and new trails arise. Hobbies bring freedom, a dimension of solitude used to escape everyday hassles and grief. A mourning widow may discover comfort in the preparing and cooking of food. An overwhelmed businessman might find solace in an enjoyable read. Passions can also bring people together. Combined efforts of parallel interests have power.
Passions carry no penalty. It is not necessary they affect other people. Passions are personal, deep drives dwelling within a body’s soul. A passion makes for a life worth living. My passion is personal, crucial to my completion. Devoid of passion, my life would be an empty stage, lacking duty and significance. Strike up the orchestra, cast the lights, and live.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.