"Rest in reason; move in passion.” – Khalil Gibran, Artist, Poet and Writer
Passion is the true force that moves the world. Love or hatred, curiosity, knowledge or skills are meaningless without the force of passion. Indistinctly of the language or culture, there is a word to describe passion in every little spot of the world. It is a state of emotion inherent to being human; passion has driven the deeds of mankind from its very beginning, leaving the path of Time seed with passionate milestones: Helen of Troy and Paris' passionate love has given History one of the most romantic excuses for war as well as one undying love story; passion for knowledge has made progress possible, and a passionate hunger for power has led some of the bloodiest episodes of past and recent history.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”, said the father of Relativity, Albert Einstein, one of many notable men and women passionate about passion who have left famous quotes on the subject such as the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel who sustained that “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”
He was probably right, but as there is a word for passion in every language, this emotional state is perceived and valued differently by different eyes. The personal point of view of each individual is filtered by culture, experience and so many other variables, as exposure to other cultures, to become a unique individual perception.
To offer our readers a wide landscape of passion is the reason why we have asked the following people, many of whom are readers of COLORS, to share their view on passion, telling us how it is seen in their mother culture, how living abroad has changed their perception or feelings about passion and what are they passionate about.
Chung Moi, female
International Business graduate, looking for a job
Dutch from Chinese origins, living in Curaçao
From a Chinese girl/woman’s perspective, it is hard to answer what passion is without thinking for a while what I am personally passionate about. It took me a while, but I still couldn’t come up with something legit, for instance painting, sport or cooking. I think I’ll have to say that before I think about my ‘passions’, I always think about family and friends first. I think my family and friends are my passions. Family, for me, sometimes feels like an obligation, but an obligation that I am so used to, that it became part of me.
I think for someone to know what he/she is passionate about; it would have taken them some time to think about themselves. Think about what he/she (not his/her family allows him/her to) likes. I never had that liberty. My parents never asked me what I like; they never asked me what I like to eat. In my household, it’s always like: here is the food, eat! So, of course, they never asked me what I am passionate about. And I never thought about it myself until today.
I can tell you what I am passionate about, but it doesn’t matter. I am passionate about what my family and friends are passionate about. I am (somewhat) passionate about basketball, because my boyfriend plays basketball. I am passionate about healthy cooking (especially Chinese style), because my mom always tells me to eat healthy. My choice of music is heavily influenced by my friends. My favorite genre of dancing music is Bachata, because one of my best male friend is a Dominican.
The country where I live, Curaçao (and its people and culture), has taught me that it is all right to think about your own passion. It is OK to explore what you really like and go for it without being called ‘selfish’. The bad news is: I don’t do that; I still put my family and friends first. The good news is: my children will surely have the liberty and my support to explore and go after what really is/are their passions.
Graduate Student Psychology
Dutch, living in the United States of America
In my culture passion holds different meanings, depending on the context. One often thinks of passion in the context of a romantic relationship. It doesn’t have to have a sexual connotation; it can simply be referred to the strong bond and or connection two individuals share with one another.
Passion can also be thought of as the intense sense of purpose that one has when doing something specific, such as being an athlete, being a musician, or simply being a teacher. When an individual is doing something that brings him/her great satisfaction and a sense of pride, and it comes natural to the person, one could say that the individual is passionate about what he/she does.
I am passionate about helping others. I am so passionate about it that I intend to make it my profession. Mental health is something that requires a lot of nurturing and trust, and I take pride in being someone that can offer help to those in needs.
I am also very passionate about music: I used to play instruments and write music and it’s something I still have a great appreciation for. My passion for music does not only exist because of my personal involvement in it, but also because it brings me a sense of serenity, which puts me in the necessary state of mind to perform my duties as a friend, son, brother, and life partner.
As for the country I am living in, it has helped me magnify my sense of purpose. The United States is a country that people think of as the “land of opportunities,” and because of it most people believe that if you work hard enough and do your best you will get to where you want to be. This ideology is instilled in the individual early on in their lives and everybody knows it exists. So I must say that by having acculturated to the United States, I have a much greater sense of passion.
British from Nigerian roots, living in The Netherlands
Passion is the drive, enthusiasm, or conviction that motivates a person (or group of people) to achieve a particular objective.
I’m passionate about first and foremost my purpose in life and that is being able to make a difference in other people’s lives. Other things I am passionate about include being respectful, compassionate and generous.
The country in which I am living in has strengthened my passion. The various challenges I have encountered in the country as well as all the experiences I have gained in the process of dealing with them, have placed me in the position to better appreciate what is possible (for me) to achieve in life and make possible for others.
Designer and entrepreneur
Yu di Kòrsou
Country of residence: depends on the month
The colors of my flag are blue and yellow. We are a happy people, that is what the yellow symbolizes and the blue is the sky and the sea. As a designer, I would love to add a brush stroke of red to symbolize passion. Passion is a manifestation of us realizing our deepest desire. And for that we need to dare to explore... to dream. Sadly, we don't dream which means we have yet to discover our collective passion.
As for me, the ability to create something out of nothing is what I am passionate about, and the outcome of this creativity can manifest in any shape or form: It can be setting up a party, creating a beautiful design, an empowering advertising campaign, cooking or setting up a dinner party. Any form of creativity and expression is something that you can wake me up for any day, any time... Either to stop and admire or be part of. And the cherry on top of the creative process is, if I am learning, growing and discovering.
The country where I am living has strengthened my passion. Being passionate for me equals being happy. Living in Curaςao, I have made the conscious decision to be happy... be passionate and when possible inspire others to be passionate.
Colombian and Dutch living in The Netherlands
We have this advertisement that goes: Colombia is passion!!! That is it: our love for our country is passion. Most Colombians are proud of our country, no matter all the problems and bad publicity we get in the world.
Eight months ago my son was born; he actually is the reason that wakes me up every night. He is my passion: to offer him the best of the best and make a good person out of him. Also, one of my passions is moving around, knowing new places, new people, new cultures, new foods…
I am happy to live in the NL because it will give an extra value when raising my little one in terms of language, but also in general education and amusement possibilities.
I also enjoy living here and finding differences between Colombian and Dutch cultures every day. In that way, living abroad has strengthen my passion.
Corporate Communications Advisor
Dutch, formerly Surinamese, living in The Netherlands
I’m a Surinamese, with Chinese, Portuguese, Native American, German and Afro-American roots, living in The Netherlands. Talk about a global trotter!
Even though I moved abroad when I was 19 years old, I feel I am Surinamese. Passion in my culture is something you feel strongly about. It is something that takes most of your thought and actions. Something you love. And also it is love (as in romantic love). In The Netherlands, where I live now, Surinamese people are considered friendly, outgoing, spontaneous, authentic and hospitable.
Rather cliché maybe, but at this moment I’m most passionate about raising my kids (4 and 2 years old). I was raised in a traditionally punitive environment, and I most definitely want it differently for my children.
I find that parents in The Netherlands are mostly more gentle in the raising of their children than where I come from. This is fed, I think, by the easy availability of research results, a higher education of people in general (or more people with an higher education). People are more read. The Netherlands has had a sparking effect on my passion of this moment. It has strengthened it.