We’ve all been there: the obsessive cyclist who tears their knee ACL from excusing doctors’ warnings to give their body a break, the obsessive secret lover who murders their lover’s spouse and the dad who took on a second job to send his daughter to weekly cheerleading sessions.
Every individual has been in a profound moment where we’re completely overtaken by an undying amount of passion that it drives us to do things we normally wouldn’t. We bend the standards we set for ourselves to excuse the poor actions of our loved ones, we push our minds and bodies to a more extreme level and convince ourselves to agree to things we don’t want to participate in for the sake of another’s benefit.
Do you think passion makes us irrational?
In 1989, 96 spectators were killed at the Hillsborough Stadium in England. Why? They were crushed to death by a stampede of thousands of passionate fans who rushed into the already filled capacity stadium. Now, let’s think about it: did these thousands of incoming fans possess rational minds in that given moment? Probably not…they were more so over-filled with excitement and passion to see their favorite English soccer teams. If rationality was intact, would those 96 people (and the additional 766 injured) still be alive today?
The obsessive cyclist example above was directed to me. Earlier this year, I discovered my love (emphasize on love) for high intensity cycling. Intervals of sprints, high resistance mountain climbs and straight cruising…it was all too thrilling of a feeling. Medical professionals recommend cyclists only participate in three one hour sessions of high intensity cycling per week, to avoid over-usgage of joints and ligaments since it’s a rigorous sport. Guess what? I decided I could handle more and committed myself to 12 sessions per week (aka 4 times the recommended). I woke up one morning and was incapable of mobility in my legs. The doctor then informed me I greatly overused the ligaments in my knees and now have to avoid all forms of cardio, except swimming.
See what I did there? I allowed my natural passionate mentality lead me to cycling myself into the extreme levels of irrationality.
But…what’s life without passion? We all live for something: to formulate ourselves into our potential, to serve an almighty power or to aid others in a compassionate manner.
What’s a basketball game without that evident desire from each player to score another point? What’s a professor without their charming love for their student’s well-being? What’s a relationship without the expression and affection of emotions?
So, even if passion makes us irrational, the profoundness of life wouldn’t exist without it. Mankind has a tendency to deny or shield our emotions and vulnerability away but… we all possess (a high level of) emotions. The crucial action is to be capable of detecting when it’s worth it and when it’s not.
What are your thoughts? Share with me a time when you sunk into irrationality due to a high level of passion.
How Hillsborough disaster altered English soccer. (n.d.). Retrieved December 24, 2014, from http://soccersilly.com/how-hillsborough-disaster-altered-english-soccer/
Passion Makes People Do Irrational Things. (2010, October 20). Retrieved December 26, 2014, from http://www.treybailey.net/2010/10/passion-makes-people-do-irrational-things-2/
From Consciousness to Awareness. (n.d.). Retrieved December 27, 2014, from http://lifeoneandequal.blogspot.com/2012/08/who-am-i-within-kiss-love-and-sex.html