A few weeks ago, I sat in the bleachers of our local high school’s first football game of the season. Like so many high schools across the country, my alma mater takes football incredibly seriously. Such large numbers coming out to support the football team is the expectation around here, and passion for the game runs deep in so many who live here.
Witnessing passion for a sport is something everyone can relate to. Everyone knows someone whose emotions are so deeply rooted in the performance of a sports team they are almost impossible to deal with during a bad game, but what stuck out to me on this particular evening was not the diehard fans or the obvious display of passion from the players, but the displays of passion by every other person in the stand.
Everyone there had some strong feelings about something on display, whether it was the obvious love of a parent cheering for their child on the field, or the alumni cheerleaders chanting with the current cheerleaders. Passion for something was displayed in both obvious and subtle ways. There was also passion in the adults telling kids to behave themselves, from the exuberant music from the band instruments, and from the young families who had taken time on a Friday evening to support a community they have chosen to raise their children in.
I then looked at my feet to see my 2-year-old son playing with his toy tractors, oblivious to the noise and action around him. Everyone was passionate about something.
My point to this is this: If passion can be displayed in so many different forms on a simple late summer Friday night, when does the passion fade? Why is it harder to see on a Monday morning? I hope you are lucky enough to work in a field where whatever you are passionate about can be on full display at all times, but if not, I hope you find the courage to remember how to incorporate it into your daily life.
I hope you find ways to display your passion and admire others for theirs. How much more exciting would our lives be if we all put on full display the things we care so deeply about? At what age and at what point do we decide that it’s just easier to feel passionate about things privately rather than shouting it from the rooftops?
So my challenge to you, as we enter the busyness of fall and the rush of the holiday season, is to think about what you are passionate about. What will you fight for and protect because it means so much to you? I hope you come to put that passion on full display and under the Friday night lights any chance you get.