“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Passionate Living

I have a dear friend. Superficially, we are quite different. She is very feminine - always wears make-up, has her nails done, and has a shoe collection to rival Imelda Marcos. Whereas I rarely wear make-up, keep my nails fairly short for ease of typing, and own about ten pairs of shoes, two pairs of which are trainers. And yet, we are very good friends indeed, and I count myself blessed that she is a part of my life.

image: kaceycrawford.com.au
We were talking last night, and realised what it was we have in common - we are both passionate women, who do what we do, and like what we like, with our whole selves. This can have its down side - we are "neck or nothing" people, who find it very difficult to moderate. (which is one reason why I've stopped smoking and drinking this year - a few were never enough, in either case). And my friend is a stickler for housework - her house is always like a new pin, no matter how tired or busy she is.

But passion can be good too. It can mean that we throw ourselves into the things we care about wholeheartedly, with no holding back, no partial commitment. I am passionate about my family, about my ministry, about Unitarianism and about writing. I am passionate about my friends, about running, and about cross-stitch. So I do and interact with all these things with my whole self, with heart and mind and soul. And that is good.

Which is why I was unutterably moved by a quotation by Lyman Abbott, which was posted on Facebook the other day, and which I believe are words to live by:

"Put all your ambition, all your enthusiasm, into the work of service. Make it the aim of your life to leave the world better and happier because you have lived in it, and take without greed or grasping what the world will give you of service in return."

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