should you curb your passion?

P A S S I O N

1/ any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

2/ a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for the environment.

3/ an outburst of strong emotion or feeling: He suddenly broke into a passion of bitter words.

antonym- Apathy

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This topic has been springing up in my mind quite frequently lately …. Should you curb your passion?

Australians are re-known for “She’ll be right mate, no worries” sort of attitude. Most of the time I love this way of thinking. Not really hyper, not overly angsty and not running about like your heads fallen off. Conversations are held in quiet non committed manners in which the part takers leave feeling contented, feelings intact and not a raised voice to be heard (now I am over generalising here, I know….)

If someone starts speaking up about a particular topic in a manner that is strong and adamant, Australians get a little uncomfortable. Whats her problem?… He’s a bit of a nutter. People take a quiet step backwards, and retreat to a safe distance.

A lot of people, (me included at times), like to make a statement and end it with a question. Or just use some intonation that makes them sound like they are questioning something, even if its their own statement they have just said. This leaves the possibility of other options open. Not standing by the statement they have just said, as nervous that they might offend someone. We come across as a very obliging and friendly country because of this.

As a consequence going to a country like Italy, or any other Mediterranean country and it may seem like everyone is yelling at each other. Two people discussing yesterdays football scores, but to an outsider not speaking the language, it looks like a domestic dispute of biblical proportions. Arms waving, voices clamouring to be heard, only to end with a kiss on either cheek and a cheery wave goodbye.

Here, we do things differently though. Passion seems to quite often have had a lid put on it. I don’t want the only time you see an Australian really passionate about something is when they are talking about rugby or cricket and alcohol.

So with that in mind, it got me thinking. When you feel really strongly about something both positively and negatively do you comfortably voice that opinion/ feelings? I am very passionate in my feelings towards food, useless cheap plastic toys, pregnancy/birth, environmental issues and many more. Its hard sometimes biting my tongue, (until there are teeth indentations in there) and letting statements slide as the other party either has opposing opinions, not expecting a counter attack (as that’s how it may come across), or have no concept of my way of thinking.

How often do you let it slide before you are not only cheating yourself but almost doing the other person a dis-service by not voicing your opinion and letting your thoughts known.

I like to think I can respect other people’s feelings, try to reflect and see things from other people’s views and I certainly don’t want to offend people by me putting my thoughts and opinions out there. However I find so many people like to keep conversation ‘fluffy’, not wanting to explore thoughts any further and not challenge at all. Habits are kept that are easy to keep up. Support things that the majority do. ie. rugby, complaining about rain, and conversations are kept at an ‘acceptable’ level.

I know there is a time and a place for everything. Buying milk at the corner store, with kids in tow, is probably not the time to be explaining to the shop keeper of my thoughts on plastic bags, I know that. However when I see someone really talking about what they feel passionate about, I can’t help but feel enthused by it. I might not agree, but I really do love the fact that they feel so passionate about the subject. Bring it back to food again and I’m in heaven.

There are a whole string of people both in real life and media that have inspired me over the years through nothing but contagious enthusiasm for something they have felt passionate about.

Being a blogger I am exposed to many wonderful blogs that show so many enthusiastic souls out there doing what comes across as things they love, and telling the world about it. My dad was passionate in hating one of our past prime ministers, I wasn’t put off by his raised voice and throbbing veins in his neck at the mere mention of his name- rather entertained that someone could feel so much for someone he had never met.

In recent years celebrity chefs have taken over the world. Jamie Oliver is pretty much a household name. Why do people like him? Because he’s passionate. That true love of his shows. A good example of this is his recent committment to his Food Revolution, surely he wouldn’t do it unless he was nothing less than 100% passionate about what he was doing?

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion” – Christian Friedrich Hebbel

So should you curb your passion?…I don’t think so. Maybe contain it a little sometimes when needed, try not to let ego involved, but otherwise let it run free. Find out what’s important to you and have an opinion.

Apathy doesn’t change things, doesn’t get people involved, and it certainly doesn’t inspire.

Passion does.

So bring on that passion, and let me hear it.

What do you feel passionate about?

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25 thoughts on “should you curb your passion?

  1. Maybe there should be a “I am passionate about this post’ button, instead of the vacuous ‘like’ button 🙂 I am with you on this, but find there is a tension in blogging, as it isn’t a real conversation to my mind,, being timelagged, and edited, and moderated and often highly stylised, with good intent and good reason: the one time I questioned what someone did on their blog, I was condemned as a troll, so I either ‘say something nice, or say nothing at all’ as my auntie Marjorie would say, but only in the context of publically viewed blogs, forums etc. Email space is mine and is consequently more real to me always.

    Can I think about this some more, you make some really good points and I have to go and cut some bread and take photos, that’s the trouble with passions!

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    • Joanna you are more than welcome to be a troll any time you want on my blog. I know what you mean though…
      That’s amazing that you have noticed a whole intonation shift. It would be fascinating talking to somebody that had studied it and how various cultures differ.

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  2. Oh, you know that thing about talking in statements that sound like questions. It’s worldwide now. The UK watched Neighbours from about 1985 and then they all started talking like that…. I remember it happening, it was extraordinary, a whole intonation shift swept the country. maybe we adopted some of your cultural stuff too and became a little less uptight in the prcess? (she said with a question mark ?) 🙂 🙂

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  3. Curb it, not so much, but sometimes I find I just need to appropriately direct my passion!

    My passions: my family, of course, and supporting and protecting the Earth, it’s communities and creatures BUT food… local food, SOLE food, good food… growing it, cooking it, preserving it, eating it, sharing it and not wasting it! There are loads of things of other things, I am very passionate person, but I find I always have food in my focus!

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  4. each and every day I hope to be able to better define my passions and follow them, I certainly admire others day do. a great post and something to think on…actually I think I’m passionate about those caramel tarts you just posted about!

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    • Thanks Jaclyn. We were certainly passionate about those tarts as well 🙂
      I quite enjoy the process of finding out whats important, researching, working on it, and then feeling that passion well up inside you and let it tumble out. Catches me by surprise sometimes…and I like it.

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  5. I love this post as I do all your posts. What is our passion and how we interact with it and voice it depending on our audience. I find that in terms of food my passion is animal ethics. I believe eating meat is cruel and unenvironmental. I have to voice my opinion with most meals with people because my opinion is voiced more than in my words but in my actions. By being vegetarian I am aware I am a minority and I am making a statement just by choosing to opt out. I am particularly aware of this at barbie’s and am continually confronted by people about my choice. I find it interesting how uneducated many arguments for pro-meat eating and the ethics that it entails.

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    • Nicky I often think about how food as changed, the evolution of food over say the last 100 years. Our cooking with meats, and peoples feelings on whether meat should be eaten or not. I really wonder what things will be like in another 50 years time. What sort of things would mankind have gone through. Would the worlds westernised population be eating a lot less or much the same?…Just musing here…

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  6. I come from a VERY passionate family. In-laws and oft times visitors have gotten used to it, but I can see a look in new comers eyes wondering why we are all arguing about EVERYTHING?!
    My husband fit right in- he is a passionate Hungarian, and his neck veins throb and his face gets red and his volume just gets louder and louder until you just want to say Amen brother, just to calm him down.
    I am passionate about Family and my faith, about food about bread, about blogging and communicating and reading. the list goes on- that’s the problem=too passionate about too many things.\
    🙂

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  7. Fantastic post! I am currently in a situation where I want to publicly be very passionate but for fear of offending and then creating an argument I am stewing….. I love passionate people they are the movers and shakers of the world, go Jamie I say! Passionate people attract people. If we don’t say what we really think then how are other people going to be exposed to different views and thinking? I don’t know – but thanks for the post, just what I needed!! 🙂

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  8. Wow Brydie, what a great thought provoking (& close to my heart) topic. I love it when one of my fave bloggers brings stuff up that I am really passionate about. I’m going to go out on a limb here & say…. I think Aussies have taken this whole ‘curb your passion so as not to offend’ way too far…, in fact now I think Aussies hide behind not letting their feelings show too much. I personally love being & showing my passion & enthusiasm – I’m aware (& often shocked) that it sometimes gets a negative reaction but I’d much rather live my life out loud than hide in the shadows. I think being passionate about life gives others permission to share in the joy.
    Great subject & have enjoyed reading all the comments here too.

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    • Thanks Anna. I sat on this post for awhile as I really find its an issue for me being torn at times.
      This is the sort of discussion that I would love to be having around a really long dining table with everyone here that’s read or commented and really get deeper into this and explore it. (Just smiling as I type this as I think it could get very passionate.)

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  9. i find this post so interesting on so many levels. being a visitor in this country for only a year now, i often get upset that i have yet to meet any real friends or connect on a deeper level with the ones i do find myself around. while reading this post i had to question the thought of the austalian culture not being the most passionate. i am now strating to wonder if this has something to do with my not being able to connect. i was passing it on as maybe they just don’t like americans, which still could be the case. i would really love to hear your take on it.

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    • *musing*…First up. I have often felt like that and I am Australian and live here. (I don’t think its because of Aussies not liking Americans) That lack of passion bugs me. I could really offend a lot of people by saying that…but bugger it, its my blog. I have found it hard in the past to connect with people on a deeper level as well, as so many people just aren’t interested in getting deeper in to a conversation, feelings, opinions. When I do get those conversations- gold. Pure gold. I have a gorgeous american friend who was saying recently she missed protesting. Missed doing things she really believed in, and getting involved in life on a deeper level. As I said to her, those people are there, you just have to dig a little deeper.
      Or it could be someone right next to you that just hasn’t had the courage to really say what they think and run with it. That passion just sitting there waiting… Your next conversation could be the opener Kristi…

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    • Hi Kristi
      Just thought I’d add in my little thoughts on this wonderful discussion Brydie has brought up. First up – Aussies definatly *do* like Americans, so its not that at all. For reasons I’m not sure about, Aussies just don’t like to betray controversial personalities & the result is they appear not to go too deep (generally speaking that is), but I when you do get those rare insightful strong people who enjoy a meaty conversation then the flood gates open. Love your photos on your site too.., beautiful family pics 🙂

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  10. Hey Kirsti, don’t give up. I don’t think in general that Australians have a problem with Americans – though some people might with the politics of the country. I looked at your profile and saw that you live in Melbourne. While I love Melbourne, my experience is that it can be a bit cliquey compared to most other Australian cities and so may take a little while longer.

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  11. I just wanted to say a big thank you for people taking the time to make comments with this one. I really, really appreciate that people have taken the time to join in the discussion and have a say…and one day, maybe just one day I’ll get that desired long dining table full of passionate people such as yourselves and discuss the topic at length…
    xx

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