I am nothing if not a passionate man. It is perhaps my greatest, at least my strongest, character trait. I have strong beliefs, a concrete set of values, an opinion on everything and a sincere zest for life. I love to learn, take any opportunity to help another person and get very into things. As a patient with chronic illness, having had several brushes with my own mortality, I do not fear death. I fear a life unfulfilled. I don’t care if I only have 10 years left, as long as I can spend them doing things that I love.
I consequently have a real hard time dealing with people that don’t have passion. I don’t judge, I want to inspire them. I have a great story to tell, and if someone were to hear it they may think like I do.
I used to be an ardent follower of Russian philosopher Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism. She unabashedly promoted that mankind’s sole purpose of being on earth was to achieve his own greatness. She vehemently opposed all things communist, so her ideas came across a bit selfish. If you were to say to her “we are here for others” she would reply
“then what are others here for?”
I eventually broke from her because of her views on charity. She played a little “fast and loose” with who is deserving of charity and who is just a waste of flesh. But I did take away a powerful message of worth and achievement. Some nuggets: nothing is more unacceptable than wasted talent; a man owes it to himself to achieve his best; if you believe something then fight for it and shout it from the rooftops. It ties into my ideas of worth, in other words, I always ask of people (inside my head of course) “what is your joy. What do you bring to the table? How are you making the world a better place by your presence?”
I know it’s a little hardcore, but do you ever wonder what your funeral will be like? Do you know how you will be remembered? Will you be remembered fondly? Once again, as a person with a lot of health issues, I often think of my legacy. I would hope that the attendees of my memorial would raise a glass and tell a funny story or of something I did for them. My stone will most certainly say
here lies Bill
He really cared
About what I have no idea
Of course, there’s another type of passion that I am sadly lacking in. In the love department, my furnace is out of oil. Not for lack of interest, but lack of opportunity. I fondly remember being in love. Sadly, it wasn’t with my wife. God bless her, my little Silver Medal. I am speaking of the one that got away.
To say that I was passionate about her is the understatement of the century. The very thought of her excited me. She was my everything. Sex is great, I love it like the next guy, but a mere kiss from this girl would make my feet spontaneously combust. We loved hard and we fought harder and I would still give anything to be with her again. I have never loved like that again, and I’m afraid I never will. After 24 toxic years with the wrong person, it’s unlikely. In that department, I am dead inside. But I want to.
Life without caring is a life unfulfilled. I don’t think I would change my style even if I could. I look at it as you either give a shit or you don’t. People without passion will continue to disappoint me but, like politics and religion, it’s their deal. To me, it’s the only thing that keeps me going.