Friday, February 14, 2014

Loving my snobby friends

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.
-Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

All my friends are snobs... or at least perceived that way.

I used to think that this was the downside to having artistic friends, until I realized that the intellectual friends that I have are just as bad. We all seem to have these things that we are very picky about. For some of my friends, it's music- the soundtrack that they approve is so small that it's often hard to find a radio station that satisfies their listening needs for more than a few tunes. Some of them are fashionistas- worried about not only what they wear, but offended by the decisions other's make. Some of them do food. Some do numbers. Some are scientists who look down on other scientists. They all come across as stuck up in their area of expertise.

But I love these people.  So I don't really think that they are snobs. I think that they are just passionate.

The problem with passion is that we don't perceive it properly when we discuss it in small groups. We talk about being passionate about something. But I have come to find that a drive for passion is more a personality trait than it is a state of mind about specifics. Passionate people are passionate first- the subject comes later, when they settle on their topic. They spend hours studying, learning, expressing, and creating their hobbies or skills. 

Consistencies in their personalities, however, lead me to develop the idea of passion being a trait. They all seem to exemplify the same things, and often receive the same mocking comments from others who don't have the passion trait. They often come across as snide or haughty, but I think that this is a misdiagnoses of what's really going on. They feel so strongly about whatever it is they have concerned their lives with, that they have the need to correct others who are sullying the good name of whatever it may be. 

Today is Valentine's day, when romance is alive in the air. The whole country becomes dazzled with the idea of love. Valentine's day seems to bring out the passion in many and directs it towards romantic relationships. 

But I too am a passionate person, and I have set my sights on this concept of love. 

Romantic love is a good thing. But it stems from this greater idea of being selfless. We know love to be many things- love is supposed to allow people to make the same mistakes over and over again without being condescending or harsh while still believing in change- it never makes little of other's accomplishments or highlights it's own- it's not self serving or even focused on the person giving it, and it doesn't stay mad. Love does not wish poor things on others, but instead celebrates when amazing things happen. It protects. It trusts. It hopes. And it does all this again and again and again. 

Today, I celebrate love. Not romance, not the idea of the partner I hope to one day have, but the idea that love can be transformative. The idea that love exceeds the moment and lives on. I celebrate because the world gets a window into this thing that I feel so strongly about. They get to see this wonderful concept that I dedicate my energy to researching and knowing because I can see how it can make life great. So I get a whole day to celebrate the wonderful love that I have for my family, for my neighbors, and for my friends. 

Even if sometimes, they come across as snobs.


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