I bruise easily, I always have.

When I was in 6th grade, I was in my second year of football and I had finally found something that I was truly passionate about.  With each practice came another bruise, most of which were relatively painless but unsightly, nonetheless. One of my school teachers called me to her desk to look at the marks on my arm. I’m confident that she wanted to be sure that I wasn’t being abused at home (thank God, that was never an issue), but she was also coming across as snide and judgemental. She asked me, with a snooty tone,

“Are the bruises worth it?”

At eleven or twelve years old, I don’t think I had the vocabulary or the perspective to put it into words but the answer was, “Definitely.” I didn’t argue with my teacher and I didn’t plead my case. Still today, I would have handled it the same.

It is senseless to try to rationalize passion to the passionless. To try to explain to someone why you do what you love will get you nowhere if you are speaking with someone who doesn’t love to do something. It will never make sense to them.

If I am speaking with someone who has passion,  I don’t have to explain why I would play a sport that would give me bruises on my arm because they know what it looks like to endure discomfort in order to exercise passion.

The distance runner doesn’t run because it makes their feet hurt.

The artist doesn’t paint because they like cleaning up their mess.

The guitarist doesn’t play because they like setting up and taking down for each show.

The architect doesn’t work because they like drawing little circles and straight lines.

The football player doesn’t play because they like the bruises.

The carpenter doesn’t work because he likes splinters.

The welder doesn’t weld because he likes the heat.

The passionate understand what it looks like to have passion. I don’t have to explain to my brother why I am willing to run long distances any more than he has to tell me why he likes to play his guitar. I don’t need to explain to my aunt why I want to lift heavy weights any more than she has to explain why she loves to paint. I don’t have to make sense of my writing to my friend, the architect, and he doesn’t have to tell me why he likes to draw.

Passion is its own explanation.  It never requires an argument.

If they have it, they will understand, and if they don’t, they never will.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,