The Passionate Life
by Rado Gatchalian
Your temporal existence necessitates your obligation to enjoy the life given to you. By Nature. Now. To waste it on a meaningless existence is a failure on your part to be grateful for this gift of life. But what is a meaningless existence?
To find the answer to this question you must begin to ask whether you know yourself or not. The world around you will never be sufficient if you fail to ultimately know who you are. And to know who you are you can find the purpose of why your life matters. Therefore, the essential duty to preserve yourself is paramount to achieve this purpose. For a weaker body means a weaker mind and disposition in life.
The Body, Mind, and Spirit
I. The Body
Your first and foremost sacred duty is the preservation of yourself. Without your life, everything around you does not matter. For to live is to experience this rare opportunity to set your foot on earth and breathe the air that makes life possible. Thus, you need to keep your body strong and healthy so that you have the means to benefit from what the world provides. Without this physical power, you cannot hold in your hands the blessings of the soil that sustain the very essence of who you are. Here you are reminded of where you came from and where you are going – from dust to dust. But here as well lies the eternal wisdom of life’s humble gesture of reminding you that nothing lasts forever. From life to death. With your body – you are compelled to bow to the limitations given by nature.
II. The Mind
This physical power needed to maximize your mental power is the nourishment of your body for your mind to think effectively. Once you master this mental power then you can overcome the limitations of your body. Your mind needs a healthy body. Your body becomes even more powerful if you can nourish your mind with introspection and reason. Only through reason that you can conquer human weaknesses such as fear and ignorance.
The body is the fuel, and the mind is the vehicle. But your inner core, your inner self; you might call it your will or your spirit – which controls both the fuel and the vehicle – is the driver that directs your life. Where you are heading is entirely dependent on your passion, energy, and will.
A life without passion is a life without meaning.
III. The Spirit
This passionate life strengthened both by the body and the mind is promised one thing: Happiness. To live with passion is to live happily. This passion is the essential ingredient of making it possible to continue your life either in wealth or poverty. Thus, you can be happy whether you are rich or poor solely because of your internal possession – your passion – is as strong as a solid stone. If your inner self is strong, nothing, even misery, and loneliness, can break the foundation of who you are. Some people call it faith. Some people call this strong will. Or spirit. Or passion.
BUT WHAT IS A PASSIONATE LIFE?
First and foremost, you value your life. If you value your life you will protect it from any harm. You truly believe that health is wealth. You keep yourself active and fit. You love walking and running. You eat nutritious food.
Poetry is sweet honey you take every sunrise and sunset. Music soothes the loneliness in your heart. For what is life without beauty and wit?
Second, you enjoy every moment of your life; or attempt to reach this goal. You know that life is never perfect but despite this, you do not fail to see the light in the shadow. You enjoy the Present. You learn from the Past. You worry not for the Future. But you are cautious with every journey you will embark on. Every journey is a lesson in life, for a passionate life.
Third, you indulge yourself with art, literature, music, science, and philosophy. You want to learn. You seek knowledge. You continuously search for the truth. You value wisdom. You give time to self-reflection. You nourish your body and mind to these treasures offered by Humanity. You enjoy art as if it is life itself. You treasure books. You love to read. You love to write. Poetry is sweet honey you take every sunrise and sunset. Music soothes the loneliness in your heart. For what is life without beauty and wit?
Fourth, you seek justice. Here, you commit a life for others, for society. You value social order and progress based on democratic principles of freedom, equality, and respect. You strive to make this world a better place to live today than before. You learn from history and you look forward to the future.
Fifth, you commit a role in this world based on the meaning and purpose you decide for your life. You are the only one who can determine which role to play. Whatever you do – your work, hobbies and leisure, and social life – you play a role you purposely choose because you believe it is who you are, inside and outside. Thus, if you live a life without purpose and meaning – whatever you do, it will never make you truly happy. At the same time, if you live a meaningful life, even silence and doing nothing can still make you happy.
Sixth, you live a life full of love, either romantic or platonic. To be passionate is to love. You exert all your energies to creative and meaningful experiences. You cherish joy like today is your last day of existence. You crave for a creative and bountiful life. You do not feel any guilt because you believe you deserve to enjoy life. You never regret but you learn from it.
Seventh, you do not waste your time on negativities such as gossips, jealousy, and self-pity. You surround yourself with people who are virtuous, happy, loyal, and successful. You reject people who are poisons to your mind.
Eight, you live an adventurous life. You do not fear. You enjoy the blessings given by Nature. You love to travel. You also enjoy the food. You treat food as a means to nourish both your body and mind. Eating is a learning process. You enjoy the simplest things in nature such as the trees and the stars, the flowers and the fields, and the mountains and the seas. You believe that life is beautiful.
You understand that tomorrow the sun shall rise again. You believe that there are many reasons to live and be happy.
Ninth, you treasure friendship. A passionate life is always shared with people you love. Friendship is a treasure that you will always keep in your heart to make your life more memorable. To live without friends, the real ones is to live without hope in your heart. Friends are a great source of hope. And strength.
Tenth, a passionate life knows how to give compliments and say Thank You. You bestow it with a sincere heart. Likewise, you know how to say Sorry, when required. Gratitude and Humility are the living stars that shine in the Universe.
Finally, a passionate life endures life itself. You are strong and persistent. You are optimistic and resilient. You do not easily succumb to failures. You do not lose hope and give up. You understand that tomorrow the sun shall rise again. You believe that there are many reasons to live and be happy.
IV. Memento mori
From here you will learn that your last and ultimate obligation is to exhaust yourself with dignity and integrity. If the first is to preserve life; then, the last is to die in peace and joy. You will only be prepared to die happy if you live a happy life. You will only die meaningfully if you live a meaningful life.
As your body and mind reach the peak of its limitation – the aging body shall retain its youthful spirit. You shall not die like a crippled body. As you take your final journey your heart shall always rekindle happiness like a child.
This is only possible if you can dedicate a life that is passionate. And to die knowing that you have lived passionately is a celebration of a meaningful life on earth.
In summary – a passionate life is an inspirational life.
Pragmatically, strive your very best to prevent dementia or loss of memory when you grow old. As life is only worthwhile if there is memory. When you lose every memory of your good and passionate life you lose life itself. Life is the total remembrance of everything that you do in your life. It is the seed that grows. Do not lose that seed. One way to keep this is to write your story. This is the reason why stories are powerful. Create your own beautiful story now.
Your passionate life is not just for yourself but for your children and for the people you will leave behind. Your passionate life is your greatest contribution to make this world a more meaningful and better place to live.
In summary – a passionate life is an inspirational life.
At the end of your journey, it does not matter how you die but how you live.
V. Dum Spiro, Spero
To end, here is a passionate poem for a passionate life.
Dum Spiro, Spero
(Latin for “While I breathe, I hope”)
by Rado Gatchalian
Hold your future like it is Now.
Hear your dreams like your love song.
Life is never promised to be so easy
But let this pain nurture strength in yourself.
Be hopeful like an innocent child;
If you remain youthful in your heart
You will always smile, rain or shine.
If your day is falling and failing
You can worry but never quit.
Let your hope be your prayer
And let supreme love be your master.
Look after your health first and foremost
And you will be able to help others.
Find your passion and be kind
Celebrate life like dancing clouds.
Remain faithful to beauty,
The universe lives in eternity.
Hold your Now like a precious child
And all imagination is a power of the mind.
Walk upright and face the sunlight
Then, all the blessings are yours, forever, to keep.
As you breathe the wind of courage
Always find a hope that will make you happy.