The Meaning of Passion

Quite thought provoking, and interesting.

Social Health

Passion

Passion means sacrificial suffering as well as strong sexual desire. Referring to both sex and death, passion encompasses the cycle of life in one word. The Latin origin of passion is “pati,” meaning “suffer,” and the word gained popularity in Christian theology referring to the sacrificial suffering of martyrs. In the sixteenth century, passion began to refer to sexual love and a sense of strong liking or enthusiasm, seemingly the opposite of its original use. Although passion can still refer to pain and suffering – as seen in The Passion of the Christ – today, the word mainly conjures up strong connotations of pleasure and desire.

I argue that although seemingly contradictory, the paradoxical nature of passion needs to be understood before we can apply it to the vocational realm discussed in my previous post which examined the popular career advice to “follow your passion.” The word has lost its…

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