Let’s talk passion! No not the kind in romance novels, although some of that is desirable. I want to talk about having passion in your life to give it meaning.
What are you passionate about? I could do a Top 10 list here again, but my passions are not what I want to focus on. Some of us have too many, and I will readily admit to my addiction. It’s difficult for me to say “no” when I’m asked to serve on a committee.
Last Sunday my church, which is a small country church, decided to call off our Sunday service due to weather. Minus 20 degrees would be too dangerous for some of our members. Instead, Janice and I watched a service broadcast by a former minister of ours. The topic of his sermon was “passions.”
I’ll admit that our slow Internet connection made it difficult for me to keep my attention focused on the church broadcast, so I found my mind wandering. (The reminds me… did you know that the average adult attention span is now eight seconds? We have a shorter attention span than the notoriously unfocused goldfish!)
As my mind wandered off the sermon to a related topic, I started thinking many people could use more passion in their life. Farmers are passionate about their soils, their animals and their crops. But we’re even more passionate about our communities! Active residents contribute to the strength of our schools, the wellbeing of our kids, and the prosperity of our towns.
Volunteering – freely giving of our time and talents – in all shapes strengthens our communities, unites people, and provides us with valuable experiences. I’m very passionate about all the organizations that I volunteer with. It’s what makes our communities our hometowns.
One thing I have noticed is that it’s getting very difficult to find volunteers. People are so busy with their jobs, kids’ activities and other responsibilities that they’re using it as an excuse to not get involved with their church, their school board, commodity organizations or local civic groups. No wonder chronic loneliness is a modern-day epidemic!
Scientific research shows us that we are hard-wired to give. “When we give to others, it makes us feel better. With the release of more endorphins, we become happier and our immunity even gets a boost,” writes Maria Shriver in a blog post entitled, “5 Important Reasons To Give Back This Holiday Season (& Always).”
To be a robust society, we need people with passion. Whether it’s putting together the local little league ball team or being on the local political county central committee, get involved! The more you give, the more you get back. People who lead from their heart are more joyful and motivated. If you’re involved with the local 4-H club or Girl Scout troop, you will enjoy it more if you put more effort into it. And your passion will make that group all the better!
We need to get away from awarding every child with a participation ribbon and start teaching our kids the satisfaction that comes from putting passion into whatever our activity is. Find your passion, and go for the trophy!