Passion needs Compassion

Passion needs Compassion

Are you passionate about something? Perhaps the work that you do, or a particular sport or sporting group, a hobby, or perhaps just changing the world! To be passionate, according to the dictionary, is to have “intense emotion or strong feeling.” It is this strong feeling that can propel a person into action. Passion can get the adrenalin pumping and can get us out of bed in the mornings. Passion can also spur people on to achieve remarkable results, and may account for the creation of exceptional products and achievements. Someone who is passionate about a particular interest generally pays a lot of attention to it and will strive to achieve the best possible results.

Passion can also be volatile. With intense emotion, passion can easily spill over to become destructive. At its extreme, passion can emerge as anger and violence. Think about the sporting events where participants and spectators alike have ended up warring over the team which they are passionate about; or the passionate members of different political factions or religious groups that have resulted in hostility and conflict; or the workplaces and social gatherings where individuals’ passion for a particular point of view or alliance with a particular group rejects all other viewpoints to the point of missing valuable contributions from others, for the sake of defending their own position or group. These are the times that passion is akin to aggression and contempt for others. Passion is a great paradox, as it can produce both genius and division.

How can passion, as an ideal, be contained so that it doesn’t spill over to become destructive?

Statue of Mother Teresa at Mother House, Kolkata

If we are to harness the positive aspects of passion, it needs to have a strong element of compassion: consideration for others; maintaining a cooperative perspective rather than competitive rivalry. How much more can be gained when we support and work alongside, rather than against, each other?

When passion is joined with compassion, powerful results can occur, and at the top of the list are the examples of Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.

In my humble opinion, passion that occurs without compassion is detrimental to relationships and to our efforts to attain social and global harmony.

Happy to hear your thoughts on passion!

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  1. Absolutely agree Marg! For passion to be truly harnessed for the greater good of all, Com~passion is crucial and as qualities, are in fact integral to each other’s success methinks – IMHO xo

    • Margaret Lambert says

      I love the concept that compassion is integral to each other’s success! It takes it a step further than just thinking about others in times of need. More food for thought (and perhaps another blog!) – thanks Bron!

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