I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase many times over your short or long lifetime. Buddhism strongly follows the “middle way.” Pasta is good, but too much makes certain people constipated (sorry for my upfrontness). I enjoy a good tuna sandwich now and again, but I’ve been told that you shouldn’t eat lots because of the levels of mercury. Exercise is good, but too much turns into an obsession and a weight loss disorder.
What I’m frustrated by is why this statement is also true for passion (and I’m wondering if this is actually true or if our society just tells us it is). Passion is a good thing…passion for art, passion for Christ, passion for cooking beautiful meals, passion for helping others, etc. Our passion comes from God. But I think, realistically, people that are too passionate seem to get burned out. When you care so much about one thing and then it doesn’t turn out the way you want, it’s hard to stay passionate. I think this is the effect of sin (or maybe you were following your own passion and not the one God wanted you to have).
I admire teachers that are passionate about their students. It keeps them going for a long time…but when the students don’t appreciate them or don’t respond at all, the teachers burn out. Super passionate Christians seem to scare away nonbelievers. Concerning the discussion of the origins of autism, both sides (mercury vs. genetics) are so passionate that it’s hard to believe either side. And too much passion for fashion or dancing can lead to eating disorders. The list goes on.
I greatly admire people that are passionate because I’m kind of a middle-of-the-road type of person. I don’t say “I love you” easily, I’m not open about my feelings on facebook or in real life, I don’t have any exciting hobbies, and if I do get passionate about something it doesn’t last long.
So if you are passionate, keeping loving that thing for which you are passionate! Go dream big dreams and try to change the world! I guess the moderation part is being open to other people and ideas. I think you could say I’m passionate about helping people with disabilities, but I must remember that not everyone has to have that passion. What matters to me doesn’t matter to everyone else, and that’s okay. God gave each of us different passions so that we could all have our specializations and fill different roles in His master plan. But He also made us to live in community with each other. So if your passion starts to die out, rely on others’ encouragement to find it back. And moderate your passion by appreciating other peoples’ passions.
Sorry if that was slightly scatter-brained. Any thoughts about passion and/or the moderation thereof?