pas·sion noun /ˈpaSHən/ as defined by dictionary.com is a strong, barely controllable emotion; a thing arousing enthusiasm. But, according to inspirational speaker and corporate trainer Francis J. Kong, passion is “a willingness to suffer” which suggests that passion is and can be deliberately willed… into existence.
When English writer Charlotte Bronte first wrote the novel Jane Eyre back in 1847, she displayed ahead of her time such a forward understanding of the word passion that she personified it through the person of Jane. Throughout the book, Charlotte gave such lucid descriptions of how Jane’s indomitable spirit fuelled and fired her stubborn individualism, zest for life, and exuberant personality.
But was she popular? Of course not!
Jane was different, period.
She was different because of her high and lofty views on love and morality. And because she stuck to her ‘moral guns’ (so to speak), she had to learn to stomach scorn and endure the relentless taunting from those around. Her stoical acceptance of suffering was remarkable. And she grew into the woman that she was through these painful life lessons.
Even her own aunt hated her to the core and was jealous of this very passion she had for life. In fact, she derived some sick pleasure at watching Jane suffer in the hands of her own tyrannical son who senselessly oppressed and tortured her. Even years after, poor Aunt Reed was still clinging onto that hatred and bitterness and they gnawed at her soul as she languished unto death.
By the end of the novel, even though Jane was alone and friendless, she had abundant life. She not only inherited a hefty fortune of 20,000 pounds from her beloved Uncle John, but also married the man whom she loved and who loved her as much as himself.
What would Jane look like today?
Would you be able to recognize her from across a crowded room?
How would she behave and what would she say… to you?
I’ve come to realise our response to life and its challenges is all that really matters. Truth is, caustic remarks are passed all the time and are more often than not reflections of deep-rooted insecurities. Our life experiences either leave us bitter or better.
I choose the latter.