I recognize that there is a fine line between being perceived as passionate or fanatical about something. I likewise recognize that the fine line is not necessarily in the same place for everyone. What I have believed over the years is that the trick in being effective in using your passion to create change is in realizing where others are placing the fine line and staying on the right side of it. That is not an easy feat.
I am passionate about a number of things. I recognize that at times people have labeled that passion as an annoyance. I have often had to soft sell my passion over the years – tone it down for general consumption. I thought I had that approach mastered – softballing my ideas instead of lobbing them in at a hundred miles an hour on a brick.
But darn it, sometimes there is no room for softballs. Sometimes you just have to stand up and say what you think with the full intensity you feel. To do any less is an affront to your own integrity.
Yep. I am getting to that point in my field. I surmise this may be a surprise to some who have interpreted my gently tossed softballs as bricks. Oh no, afraid not…I have been soft selling my notion of change on most fronts for a number of years. Increasingly though I have come to feel that I am doing a disservice to my passion and to others’ like passion by not standing up straighter, saying things with greater conviction and by refusing to step aside.
I am reminded of Edmund Burke’s words, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” While the use of evil in the quotation may be a bit extreme for the topic at hand it does evidence a truism in regard to what we allow to happen without comment or risk to self.
I think that aging plays a role in one’s need to move closer to what is most true for one’s self; and, if that means voicing thoughts and beliefs with full force without apology, then so be it. I had dinner with my dear friend Ruth Ann last night and we were discussing the phenomenon of increasingly coming into one’s most authentic self without apology or regret as we age. They say there is a wisdom in age and I think this notion that we live and act with authenticity is part of it.
So call me fanatical if you will, but don’t expect me to throw you softballs because that is what you are comfortable with. I have to be true to me and my sense of integrity – that is the person I have to live with. And if you haven’t heard, she’s a fanatic !
Day eight hundred and thirty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da