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Created on 12/1/2009

Passion is a word that we in the UK don’t employ very easily or readily. We have become easier with passion in recent years, so it’s said, since the huge public emotional outpouring which followed the tragically premature demise of Princess Diana.

What does passion mean to us? For me it’s a different thing for each set of circumstances.

The passion between a man and a woman changes over time, it starts as a lush burning fire, too hot to touch, it ignites and flames, and draws us to itself, until, with time, it begins to warm rather than burn, and then it must be appreciated in a new, perhaps less exciting way.

Such passion doesn’t have less value because the fire doesn’t burn so brightly, perhaps because that’s the right life cycle of passion. It simply doesn’t serve us well to always be red hot. For a fire to burn for the longer term it must be fed, banked, preserved and nurtured. It shouldn’t always be savage and brilliant, but does its job best if it warms and is seen in sepia hues. There’s nothing wrong with mature passion even if it is considered less immediately gratifying and exciting.

Passion can be what a person feels for their football team, and it can seem ridiculous and unfathomable to someone who doesn’t share the same passion. I am passionate about the greatest football team on the planet, and that is the wonderful Manchester United, who are literally champions of the world having won that tournament last month in Japan after qualifying by winning both the English and European Championships.

Strangely that passion never seems to lessen in intensity, but then again we’re distant lovers, Manchester United and me. In fact I don’t know if this love and passion is reciprocated but sadly I suspect it isn’t. I wonder if the club knew me better that they wouldn’t tire of me. Perhaps the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt is true.

I used to be a passionate follower of the left wing in politics, and then, as I got older and wiser, and a little more prosperous I became a follower of more middle of the road politics. Again my passion had dissipated with the passing of time.

I am still a passionate Zionist and I think that passion will stay with me for my entire life. The only difference now in my passion for the cause of a Jewish homeland is that I realize that some of the back-story and events surrounding these issues are not precisely as I understood them to be when I was a child. Nothing is all white and black although it can come pretty close. But as a younger man I had an optimistic belief that everything could be rationalized and that common sense and logic would always win in the end. Sadly this is not always the case, and at some times in certain places it is never the case.

I reserve a great deal of passion for my writing, because it gives me so much and the love I give it is unconditional and passionate in its intensity.

My undying love is reserved for my family and friends, because they are wonderful and I guess, in part because they are also passionate about me.

For those of you who lose their passion, and become uncertain and say they’ve changed I have news, you didn’t change, we’re basically unable to change, but your circumstances might have changed and you convince yourselves that a search for some new thrill can replace the flames of an older passion that still burns bright enough to warm yourself by, even if on this lower light it no longer excites to the same extent.

Maybe I have become able to accept second best and no longer search myself for a passion that is so pure and desirable. Perhaps settling for less passion is a failing on my part or is it a sign of logic and maturity. Can we have both, or are we doomed to live with a reality in which it must be one or the other?

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