Passion is life’s fuel.
Yes, we need romantic passion to procreate and continue the species, but human beings also need passion to make social progress.
All historical events and achievements are tied to at least one person’s passion. The outcomes aren’t always positive. Millions of people have died in wars started over ideologies and emotions.
We need to make sure our passions are well placed, focused and don’t infringe on the rights of others.
There are countless causes people around the world are passionate about. It can cause vertigo to try and choose just one.
For a while, we could identify causes people were passionate about by the colour of the plastic wristband they wore. That trend plummeted after Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace.
Those who find their passion have a compulsion to openly display it, even if it’s not a social cause: guitar players wearing Fender shirts, English majors wearing sweater-vests, etc.
But passion is not about aesthetic. It’s about production and progress.
The most admirable of passions is the kind that makes the world a better place.
I had the opportunity to speak to Tara Murphy and her almost 14-year-old daughter Mackenzie for a story in Tuesday’s paper.
Mackenzie, from Airdrie, Alta., was a victim of relentless cyber bullying after her peers found her personal blog. She was called fat and told to kill herself on her social media pages. She tried in December 2012. Fortunately, she was unsuccessful.
Mackenzie turned her suffering into productivity by bringing her concerns about bullying to the Airdrie mayor. An anti-bullying bylaw was passed there.
By harnessing the passion of groups like Journey to Hope, Moose Jaw could have a similar bylaw in place to deter bullying.
Mackenzie’s passion is ensuring that less young people experience bullying.
Bullying is a sensible cause to be passionate about. It can ruin lives entirely, or cause lingering damage for the survivors.
People are passionate about preventing drug addictions and drinking and driving. These are evils that can quickly swoop in and take a life.
The world can be a mean-spirited place. Endeavours like getting into school, getting good grades and applying for a job can all be competitive.
Moose Jaw isn’t exempt from competition, or from hate. Hatred is a result of ill-placed passion.
But Moose Jaw is also an extremely charitable place. I believe it to be safe. But I am not a racial minority, disabled, or a gay or transgendered person. I have no idea what living in this community would be like if I were.
People who suffer in society don’t always have the ability to stand up and say, “this is wrong and it needs to change.” That’s why we need focused and well-placed passion. We would be in a much uglier world without it.
Follow Austin M. Davis on twitter: @theaustinx