In Greek mythology, possibly the most important character as far as humans are concerned is Prometheus-- the Titan intermediary who brought the divine spark of fire from the gods as his life-supporting gift to people. For daring to carry this spark of flame, his passion, from the heavens to his earth-bound fellows, Prometheus was severely punished by being chained to a rock and having Zeus’ own eagle pluck out his liver every day until he was finally rescued by Heracles. Despite his suffering, Prometheus was passionate that all humans have access to that divine spark of fire that can inspire greater vision and connection with its illumination and healing warmth.
The book,The Art of Possibility, claims that “our universe is alive with sparks. We have at our fingertips an infinite capacity to light a spark of possibility.” I would go even farther than that-- I would say that each of us has a personal responsibility for finding ways to share our passionate sparks with others so they themselves will catch the sparks and go further in living out their own passionate dreams.
In just the past few weeks, I’ve been noticing these sparks igniting enthusiasm and a sense of possibilities all around me, even in difficult or grim situations, such as:
- Girls in Pakistan demanding and getting opportunities for quality education in impoverished communities where families traditionally cannot afford it and do not value it
- Tim Lincecum (pitcher) and Edgar Rentaria (ace batter) of the San Francisco Giants pulling themselves out of crippling slumps in late summer to inspire their team to win its first-ever World Series baseball championship this fall
- A Stanford classmate who is thrilled about his transition from overseas aid projects toa new job promoting the rights and well-being of severely needful patients in a mental hospital
One of my clients recently expressed this sense of wanting to give something of meaning to society with a new career that allows her to use her “passion and enthusiasm,” as well as her particular skills, to connect people with resources that will make a difference in their lives. As The Art of Possibility states, “The life force for humankind is, perhaps, nothing more or less than the passionate energy to connect, express, and communicate, . . . [lighting] sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions.” What greater gift can we give or receive?
Join in the Discussion!
- When have you lit a spark in others that has validated their own passion and let their true selves come forth?
- Which people and/or experiences have lit this spark in you? What kind of difference has this made in your life?
- What is your biggest dream for passionate connection in the world?