Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Solution!

Good day to you readers. I know it has been a solid three weeks since my last post, but in my defense, I had a two week vacation in which I hardly looked at a computer. Now that I am back to my regular routine, I am inclined to tell you what I have been up to for the past few weeks…. But nay! I have a much more thought provoking subject on my mind.

Last night I was watching the movie Serendipity with my wife. I confess, I like that movie, and I’ve seen it a few times. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but it is funny, has a few good lines, and it is a general feel good kind of movie. That is beside the point. One of the supporting characters writes the obituaries for the NY Times and has a great line, “you know, the Greek’s didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died; did he have passion?” I did some research this morning and it seems that this Greek tradition is completely made up by Hollywood, however, it is still a thought provoking line. If I were to die today, people would gather around my coffin and ask if I had passion. The answer would be a simple no, and the attendees would just walk away.

Perhaps I made that a little too dramatic, but the idea behind it is both true and profound. Passion is the solution to the problem stated on the information pane of this website: how to stop surviving and start living. Allow me to add some support to this hypothesis. Here is a quote by Claude A. Helvetius, a French Philosopher from the 1700’s: “Every man without passion has within him no principle of action, nor motive of act.” And another from John Boorman, a British film maker popular in the 30’s.

What is passion? It is surely the becoming of a person. Are we not, for most of our lives, marking time? Most of our being is at rest, unlived. In passion, the body and the spirit seek expression outside of self. Passion is all that is other from self. Sex is only interesting when it releases passion. The more extreme and the more expressed that passion is, the more unbearable does life seem without it. It reminds us that if passion dies or is denied, we are partly dead and that soon, come what may, we will be wholly so.

In order to LIVE life, a person ought to have PASSION. It is as simple as that. A task done without passion has no “motive of act,” and enough of those tasks stacked on top of each other is a life of “marking time” where the person is “partly dead.” You need to have passion for what you are doing in life to make it enjoyable. Work or school without passion is boring and miserable. People need hobbies in their personal life so they have something to be passionate about. And love without passion leaves couples fighting over petty things and going through the motions. A life led by passion (for the right things) is exciting, often overflowing with joy, passes time quickly, and is attractive to others. Think of any famous person in the history of the world, if they are famous for something they have done and not done to them, I guarantee they all share the common bond of passion. Looking back on my closest friends from high school and still good friends today, most of them were very passionate people. That is why we had so much fun together. We were so intense and so alive that life was exciting and we enjoyed every moment together. I also think of my good friend Keith Becker who I think to be a very passionate person. Though he has seen some very challenging times, I can assuredly say that his life is a life of excitement. I am confident that the hard times he has experienced recently will be followed by extremely joyous times ahead due to his passion.

To wrap up, this necessary passion for life is not made up of passing moments, but consistent fervor for everything you invest your time into. Scripture even states God’s view of the importance of consistent passion in one of my favorite verses. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11. Oh how I lack zeal in both by personal life and in my spiritual life. This is not merely a suggested means to enjoy life, it is a command by God. Lacking in zeal will not only harm your personal life, it will spoil your spiritual growth and will lead us to the lukewarm churches whose fate is discussed in Revelations. Readers, I beseech you; have passion.

Now that I know the solution to my problem, I must figure out the means to gain passion. Good luck to you as well.


Anonymous said...

Hi Zack,
greetings from Germany. Wandering through the internet to verify that quote from Serendipity, one of my favorite movies because it is so well written, I came across your thoughts and just wanted to let you know, that they were extremely helpful!. I have to write a text and wanted to start of on the greek orbituary thing - so good you checked! Love the French philosphers quote!
So, thanks for the help (which coincidentaly you posted on my birthday. Serendipity I guess
Best, Gabriele

Anonymous said...

How can you not have passion? Just listen to classical music. It reaches out like a velvet fist and commands you be moved by its message. Just listen to Handel’s Messiah Beethoven’s 9th symphony, the choral movement. When you get goose pimples, that's passion for the achievements of man that over shadows wars, greed, avarice, It is PURE emotion .Buy a CD of the 1812 overture and no matter deep your malaise, you WILL be moved!!!!!!!!!!!!

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