Sunday, August 12, 2007

Don't Apologize for Your Passion

It was great going to Quaker Meeting this morning. True, there were a lot of messages, which I sometimes find disruptive to my silence. Well, its not MY silence. I guess God had a lot to say this morning and I'll leave it at that. For that is what I've come to understand about this morning. I don't control the messages. Sure, I'm human, I have reactions that are sometimes, ahem, un-Quakerly. There, I confess! But it's God's deal, not mine.

But I had a different kind of reaction to a member who spoke after Meeting had risen, the time when "almost messages" are shared. This man spoke with great emotion about the horrendous rise in poverty in Dane County, where we live. He asked the Quaker Meeting to take a greater role in helping to counter this accelerating slide of our people into poverty. At the end he said, "I apologize for my passion", and sat down. I was moved and challenged by his message. I was also disturbed by his apology. It's one thing, I suppose, to apologize for being boastful. It's quite another thing to apologize for being passionate about something. After we'd adjourned for social time, I approached this F/friend and told him he did NOT need to apologize for his passion. He laughed, and, I think, appreciated my remark. We have to encourage each other to speak or act our passions. In a creative, growthful, sometimes challenging way.

I see this "apology" often in myself or others. We close our passions off from only our closest friends. I find myself wanting to apologize for showing emotion. I see other's do it, too. A person might be an excellent and passionate writer. Or speaker. Or computer geek. or knitter. or scientist. or speaker. or artist. or cook. The list is endless.

Yes, it's good to be humble. But apologize for being passionate? I do NOT think so!


Suzy said...

I was also taken aback by the apology. The speaker is not someone who normally apologizes for his passion, not should he.

On a different note, wonder what said speaker thinks of Obama now that he's advocating preemptive strikes against Pakistan.

poodledoc said...

Yes, that question has been on the tip of my tongue since Obama made those remarks. I intend to ask. Obama seems to have lost his passion, which was attractive to many, in favor of a new persona that we are all too familiar with.......