Doing something with passion
What is that one thing that you can do with all your heart and soul? Is there any? The Greeks have a beautiful word for this—meraki. It means to do something with great passion and love. It comes from the Turkish word ‘merak’, which means ‘the labor of love’— to do something with love. Do we ever do anything with passion and love? Do we put our heart into what we do?
I am not an exception either. And so, this is a question that I am asking myself too: what is that one thing in which I can give my everything? Frankly speaking, I don’t know yet. I haven’t discovered it yet. Very few know what it is that they are made for. The majority of people don’t even bother to discover their special ability. They live like others, hope like others, dream like others and die like others. They live a compromised life and continue living like that.
But even if we don’t know what are we supposed to do, can’t we do everything with great passion? We certainly can do. But we don’t think like that. To us, the most passionate thing is probably chasing after money, isn’t it? But, I am not talking of that passion.
Passion that Steve Jobs had, Isaac Newton had, A.P.J Abdul Kalam or Swami Vivekananda had. The passion of seva and truthfulness that Om Swamiji exhibits. Are you getting my point? They all did their job with intensity and devotion. Swamiji is of course still doing everything with the same intensity and perfection. This is passion! In this sense, there are very few who are really passionate about doing something in life. And yet, without this passion, no great accomplishments are possible.
Personally, when I read or write anything, I try to do that with as much intensity as I can. I try to do these as deeply as possible. And one thing I’m really passionate about is—to think; you know, like a philophile would do. I think passionately. Even now, when I am writing this article, I am doing it passionately.
Doing Everything Passionately
I think we all should inculcate this attitude in everything we do. Whether we talk or listen, do something or just sit, doing nothing, think about something or plan, or simply cook, we should do everything with meraki!
The Zen masters are very peculiar about small small activities. They spend hours organizing pebbles in the garden. And what to say of their penchant for tea-making! They have taken it to almost artistic levels. They do it with great attention and delicacy. The Japanese ceramic bowls are famous for their exquisite artistry and refinement. They literally practice meraki.
Every act can be done with excitement and joy. It’s an attitude. It’s not only that we have to discover that ‘one’ thing for which we are made, but we can do almost everything with passion. It’s a matter of attention. The more attention we pay to something, the greater the level of quality it exhibits.
We don’t do anything full-heartedly. Our love, care, generosity, concern—are all expressed with half-heartedness. The jobs we do, the people we love, the things we care for—we don’t put our hearts and soul into anything completely. That’s why we don’t live completely. So, we’ll also not die completely.
Can you see the implication of it? Don’t live half-alive! Aren’t we living like that? To live fully, to give every day its all—is the actual living. Why hold back love, care, compassion? Give it all. Try to live everyday and every moment with all your heart. The day you’ll die, you’ll die gracefully.