Inspiring Through Passion (delivered as part of the live service on 09/09/13)
Take a few seconds to ponder something that you feel passionate about. Maybe it’s a person. Perhaps it’s a career. Or maybe it's hobby, a cause, or an idea.
TOTJO’s doctrine contains two versions of the Code from the fictional Star Wars Universe. The Orthodox, or more well known version, states “There is no passion, there is serenity”. Many of you will have explored this idea in the course of doing the Initiates Programme. Some might have struggled to understand it in literal terms – on the surface it doesn’t really seem to make all that much sense, because have you not just thought of something that you are passionate about? Assuming that you did manage to think of something, passion must therefore exist, right?
I’m not going to go into further dissection of the passion=serenity concept because that part of our doctrine is for you yourself to make up your mind about and there isn't necessarily a 'right' way of interpreting it. But I do find the concept of passion itself to be an interesting one. Many bad deeds have their foundations in passion. It’s probably safe to assume that suicide bombers are pretty passionate about whatever cause they are giving their lives for. It can unquestionably be dangerous.
And sometimes there is a tendency to think that to show passion is to display a shortcoming, or perhaps even to be un-Jedi. There have been times in the past when I have written a passionate post in the TOTJO forums and then gone back and edited it before submitting in order to sound calmer, more rational, more compromising. I’m sure that there are others who are also familiar with this process of toning things down.
But passion…passion is one of the things that can make us feel alive. That can give us purpose. That can inspire others and spur them on to greater things. Passion is a conduit for self-betterment, for the growth and advancement of the human race, for a better world.
Yes, we have to be careful. Careful not to let passion blind us and govern our behaviour and conduct. Passion should always be tempered with self-awareness and consideration of others and the wider world. Passion is most certainly not the same thing as anger, or recklessness, or rudeness and It is entirely possible to share and demonstrate passion in a calm, quiet and subtle manner.
My message today is - don’t be scared to be passionate. No-one should feel ashamed of caring about things. If you hide your passions from yourself you cannot know yourself fully. If you hide your passions from others we cannot truly know you. And through showing passion in the Jedi community we challenge each other and open up the possibility that we might enthuse and inspire someone along their path in the process.
One does not became a true Master of Jediism through indifference.
And inspire us.