Power of Passion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     A while ago, I didn’t think I had a passion. I would sit in front of the TV all day and not think about anything except the next show. I thought a passion was for fanatics with nothing better to do than obsess over a hobby. At that time, I didn’t know how important having a passion is to existence. It makes it easier to survive, knowing there is one thing to rely on - there’s one thing to think of each day for motivation and comfort.

There are so many passions, but no matter how big or small the activity, its meaning in our lives never changes. Whether one loves playing a sport, listening to music, or coming home to their children, the important thing is the satisfaction and joy derived from the activity.

My first encounter with this knowledge was in seventh grade. My sister, Amy, had a ballet rehearsal and I went with my mom to drop her off. I was bored and wanted nothing more than to go home. Then, as my mom stopped at a red light, someone caught my eye. It was a man dressed in rags standing on the side of the road. It wasn’t the fact that he was homeless that interested me, for I had seen many like him before. But in some way he was different. This man was not sitting down with a sad and hopeless expression. He was standing waving his hands and doing a half-dance, swaying and stomping his feet. He had an expression of pure delight. He held a radio like it was the most precious item he had.

Seeing all this surprised me. “Mom, why does that man have a radio even though he’s homeless?” I asked, not expecting much of an answer.

“He bought it,” she replied, focusing on the traffic. I was still puzzled.

“But if he’s homeless, why doesn’t he use his money to buy shelter or clothes? He wasted his money on something he doesn’t need. He should buy food.”

“Well, Sarah, sometimes food isn’t the most important thing. Music can be food for the soul. Food and shelter aren’t the only things we need. People need happiness to stay alive, too.”

I wasn’t expecting such a profound response and thought about what I had just seen. That man must care enough about music to buy a radio instead of food or clothes. Maybe my mom was right. I had never thought about bliss in depth, but I soon realized that happiness is a key to existence. If one lives in sadness, there’s nothing to keep one moving from day to day. That’s how essential a passion is. It provides the happiness on which every person thrives.

Since those few moments of seeing that scene, I’ve never gone a day without thinking of what’s truly important. A home, a meal, a piece of clothing: those are only parts of the picture. Now I realize that I’ve had passions all along, but never recognized their significance in my life. They were invisible hopes that I relied on without knowing. What’s often forgotten, and I had forgotten this myself, is that we all need a joy, a light in a dark day. We all need a passion.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 10 comments. Post your own now!

MESI said...
Aug. 10 at 2:36 am
Amazing peace of work. Really makes you reflect
LeisurelySketches said...
Dec. 3, 2016 at 12:29 am
Very well expressed and well written. A truly enjoyable piece of work.
AKH10 said...
Apr. 27, 2016 at 8:38 am
This piece clearly shows what passion really is. It is a great example to people out there trying to find their own passion. Giving an example from your own life from someone more mature definitely gives a feeling that its right.
wonderer said...
Feb. 8, 2016 at 11:33 am
this is really well written and doesnt stop being interesting
RyssaMaeIsHere said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm
I actually like this. I don't think it's long at all. It has the right amount of details to be able to entertain someone and make some realization thoughts. Great job! :)
Elizabeth_Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm
This was most certainly not too long.  I don't know what these people are talking about. Yeah, ultimately, everything can be shortened, but what fun is that?   You're whole piece of work could have been "People need to have a passion to live," but that wouldn't have fully expressed what you wanted to get across.  I say good work.
jessicasarah said...
May 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm
this is amazing.
definately not too long, or too short.
it means a lot and brightened my life tremendously.
samanthaaaaaaa said...
Nov. 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm
This is really long. Unexceptable.
jennnsayyys said...
Nov. 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm
this is definately way to long, i would suggest shorting it, other then that. Very Nicee.
Kouragious_Beauty_ replied...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm
i lke this very much especially with the topic of the homeless man and your curiousity of what passion means or is very good(:
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