Passion: All Cheetahs Have It

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, language | Tags: , , , , , , |

Passion, then, is best described as an extra-normal condition that manifests itself in normal people from time to time.  It is a temporary condition that is all-consuming, full of angst, and selectively justifies everything in accordance with the demands of its very narrow goals.  A passion that does not abate is an ongoing condition called obsession.  (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that resides just a few doors down from a place called Madness.)

Cheetahs got passion?  An ongoing concern for the cheetah (your standard African house cat) is a daily need to eat.  It spends much of the day looking over the available menu items, and, while almost every thing is appealing, there is a slight problem:  none of the juicy tidbits is eager to join him for din-din.  That means serious take-out, along with all the associated problems.  Our spotted tabby makes a selection, moves in as close as possible, and then — pedal to the metal — sells out its entire energy supply to sate an uncompromising need.  Whether successful or not, the big cat cannot reproduce this extreme effort until its energy stores are replaced.  This all-consuming need — survival at its most primal — moves through the cat like the rhythm of the tides, now ebbing, now surging, manifesting itself in all-out effort, heedless of the cost to SELF; the goal is all there is.  Passion, by definition, is a trait of the cheetah.

When it comes to passion, my antipathy toward it (or, at least, toward the current tendency to overuse the word) has its roots in a year 2011 PBS series about a former US president, Woodrow Wilson.  No problem with Woodrow, you understand, rather with the repetitious use of the word passion to describe seemingly everything about him.  Numerous blurbs about his interests, attested to one after the other by various attestants, each oozing the word “passionate” from between their lips as they lovingly caressed every syllable.  I lost count of how many passions he pursued (simultaneously?) before I passionately pursued a quest for a barf-bag while fumbling desperately for the remote channel changer.  (Honest, I would have taken notes had I known I was destined to be plugging away at this blog.)

I point you to my two previous observations about obsession and the personal cost of the cheetah’s pursuits.  Either Woodrow was a mad man, or, me thinks, the attesting attestants attesteth too much.  (Yeah, I should apologize for that, but, I think it’s pretty cute.)

Next up:  Can a word pimp itself out?

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One Response to “Passion: All Cheetahs Have It”

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An amazing article, thanks for the writing.


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