Friday, October 19, 2012

Passion's Slave!

In Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2, Hamlet lauds Horatio's stoicism.  He says, "Give me that man / That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him / In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, / As I do thee."

I think Hamlet has a good idea there, but no matter how many times I go over it in my mind, I think he's wrong.  (I don't care if he is the title character in the play!)  To me, passion is essential to a good life.  It's the thing that motivates us to keep working on something even if we are tired or hungry and even when all seems lost.  Passion is the thing that makes life interesting!

Here's what I'm passionate about:
  1. Talking
    The best conversations are the ones that cause you to feel like hardly any time passed at all since you started talking.  I think conversation -- wholesome, meaningful conversation -- is one of the best uses of time.
  2. Writing
    Sometimes I don't get a chance to write until very late at night or extremely early in the morning, but it doesn't matter.  I have to write something every couple of days or I begin to feel intellectually and emotionally stifled.
  3. Baking
    This one's similar to writing.  That is, I may be exhausted after hours of say, dipping Oreo balls into chocolate, and I may desperately need sleep.  But all the time spent laboring to create something that someone will devour in six seconds is worth being exhausted, if it brings him or her happiness and satisfaction.  I mean that.
I suppose one could argue that Hamlet was talking about an extreme in passion . . .  Even then, I disagree with him.  I think it's important to be passionate about good things, and it's also important to not get addicted to the things we feel passionate about.  But there has to be extreme passion somewhere in the world to keep life moving forward.

Take a look at this quote from the English novelist, E.M. Forster:  "One person with passion is better than 40 people merely interested."

I wholeheartedly agree.

In that vein, then, I'll add a 19th item to What I Want in a Husband: Passion.  I want a husband who has a hobby he gets lost in from time to time.  I want him to have favorites and opinions and pet peeves.  I want him to metaphorically set himself on fire and let people see the brightness of passion burn within him without feeling ashamed or embarrassed of his intensity.

Thing I'm thankful for: a late-night walk in the chilly air


Blogger Adam R. said...

AND I loved every second of those Oreo cake balls...thanks so much for all of your help too, Sara!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think passion is one of the most attractive traits in a person.

Whether "extreme passion" falls under the "too far, addicting" passion is up to each person as to what those words mean. For me, hearing "extreme" would imply that it is taken past the bounds of what is acceptable (though people who do definitely make the world a more interesting place). Alma even taught the need to be a slave to passion or else it would limit our capacity to love (Alma 38:12).

ps I also went for a walk last night and it was beautiful outside.

7:24 AM  
Blogger doopadee said...

Hamlet is not saying that passion is bad...he's saying that its difficult for he himself not to be a slave to passion. Since the murder of his father, he had a passionate vendetta against all those who may have been involved. He's not exactly sure who has taken part in the murder (though he suspects Claudius) and so as to not make a final judgment as to who was guilty based on his own passionate beliefs (fearing his passion would cloud his judgement as to who commited the act) he appeals to Horation who is "not a slave to passion" to be an impartial judge in the matter. He trusts Horatios opinion and will "wear it in his hearts core."

I do agree with you that having passion is important and that its a very attractive quality to see in someone. Having a passion for something gives people a reason for happiness and motivates them to strive for something great. However, becoming a slave to passion, or becoming obsessed or addicted, even to good things, will ultimately make you murder your whole household and you will die in a duel.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Adam, you did a much better reading of that play than I just did! I certainly don't want to die in a duel and whatnot! :)

But although I know it's important to bridle our passions and have self-mastery and all of that, I do think there are some times when you will be passion's "slave." And I think it might be a good thing sometimes. Hm. I will try to think of some examples. :)

10:05 AM  
Blogger Cherie (and sometimes Senor) said...

I enjoy when someone is passionate about something to the point that they can ignite an interest for the subject in someone else. (assuming it's good and wholesome of course) Hearing someone else talk about their passion and feeling that always makes me so curious to know more. Now I'm thinking of all the great teachers I have had who were exemplary in their profession because they had passion for what they taught.

I do think passions can be healthy if kept in check; it certainly makes a person seem awake/alive if they have a passion for something.

12:36 PM  
Blogger cardlady said...

Woa ADAM! MIELE! You are soooo smart!
Sara, nice post, I do believe we need to get lost in our passions a bit, occasionally.
It really helps our mental state!
I am a prime example.
Crazy! hahahahah

2:30 PM  

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