In the years following the march on Washington, Martin Luther King’s approval numbers plummeted. The Harris Poll found 72% of the American public and more than 55% of black Americans opposed him.
I sat in Church yesterday listening to this statistic and as my mouth hung open I began to think about the opposition I’ve faced in my own life. Have I responded to those who are seemingly against me with love as Dr. King would? Have I continued to do what I am most passionate about even when faced with the inevitable hurdles that appear? It got me to thinking about the life of King, and how he seemingly effortlessly never gave up on his own beliefs in spite of the lack of support from his own people.
As we celebrate Kings life and legacy I ruminate on what it means to live a passion filled life. Before starting this blog I had no idea what I was passionate about. I had no real hobbies, no extra curricular activities to pour myself into that inspired me creatively. Looking back I realize how in the deepest parts of my heart I was living a very unfulfilled passionless life.
Not until I was able to identify what brings me joy did I begin to live a life filled with passion and purpose. It’s not a question that is easy to answer for everyone. Like anything worth having it takes work to realize what your truest passions are. I started by recognizing when I felt moments of true joy and inner peace. For you it may be understanding first what brings you the opposite and then distancing yourself from that as much as possible. Dr. King was passionate about equality and I about the happiness I find in celebrating life’s special moments ( even the most mundane), and while I won’t be winning any nobel peace prizes for my amazing use of color combinations I realize that when I started to honor my passions I began to live life more happy and focused. I still face the inevitable stumbling blocks, I still feel lost at times but when I do I remember what brings me peace and joy and go toward that. I believe that knowing this very thing has influenced my relationships with family and friends in a positive way and I now look for ways I can share my passions with others to influence them in their own lives as well.
I believe one of the most important questions you will ever have to answer in life is ” What do I love to do, what am I passionate about?” It is the question that holds the answer to questions like; Shall I move to this new city where I have no family and friends? Should I resign from this comfy job and start my own business? Or most important, what is my purpose and am I living in it? Knowing what your passions are helps you to learn what your truths are. As you begin to make the necessary decisions to live a happy life you should follow the direction of what that passion is.
I believe before Dr. King could become an inspiring orator, an authoritative leader, a loving father and husband, he had to first find the thing that he was most passionate about. As we celebrate his life today I suggest that we all ask ourselves that same question. Perhaps then we can become those love filled and tolerant individuals that King encouraged us to be.
What are you passionate about? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If you’re still searching for your passion, I’d love to hear a message of Dr. Kings that resonates with you the most.
Enjoy this holiday and be kind to yourself and to others.