Barbeques for Australian men augment what we might call “fellowship.” (It might be the same for you in your country.) One such conversation involved a discussion with a guy about another guy—a passionate person, who’d routinely put people off so ardent was their love of things true for them. We mused about this guy—a guy I actually have a sympathetic fondness for. Notwithstanding, all the empathy in the world doesn’t save some. They seem interminably condemned by the deriding many because they’re so wedded to the passionate concepts that have won them over.
Take another situation. An Opposition Leader backs onto Government policy in order to enhance it, making progress achievable. He does so, however, arrogantly—without the support of his team. His method of dictating policy brings about his downfall.
Is there a degree of commonality with these two examples?
It seems that the ones who do the most deriding are either quietly passionate themselves or overtly dispassionate people. Let’s explore this issue of unbridled passion some more:
Passion alone gets us almost nowhere and certainly doesn’t assure the journey. It fractures it. It compromises the issues at hand regarding their sustainability.
Temperance appears to be the key; the tempering of steel is essential almost always in bringing usefulness to it post-hardening, after all, soft steel (most of the time) is even more useless. But, hardened steel alone is just as useless for it is brittle and potentially shatters dangerously, failing when it’s most required to perform—and this is the ideal metaphor.
Passion alone is the pre-tempered hardened steel. It requires tempering; indeed, the process and outcome of tempering the passion is the very thing that draws out its attractiveness, making it useful to both the person possessing the passion and others. In tempering passion it’s made palatable.
Therein lays the balance of wisdom to remain in the game for not only the battle at hand, but the overall war. For at times, crucial times, we must accede to the masses—to the will of others—even when it appears wrong (to us).
We must trust the process, having faith that things will turn. When we enter cautiously at these times with passion in check we are perceived as caring, controlled and even insightful.
Passion alone brings us quickly to ruin; it is otherwise seen as the sin of pride.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.