Mere Enthusiasm

“Mere enthusiasm is the all in all. Passion and expression is beauty itself.”

I love watching people speak about what they love. Without realizing it their eyes catch fire and a smile fights at their lips. Words which have been harboured  too long as mere thoughts are finally given the chance to be spoken, and they are spoken with utter delight. Each statement, word, syllable, vibrates and glows because it is believed in. Do you know how many words are spoken that are not believed in? Too often are superfluous facts simply rattled off from memory, and words are spoken only to fill a void of silence (which is a sheer calamity in itself, but I will save that harangue for another time).

Ah, but when someone believes in the words they are speaking – truly has faith in them – you can tell. You can tell because although you’re not sure why, you start to believe in the same things. I know this, because of Crazy-Floss-Lady, as I will forever endearingly refer to her.

I met Crazy-Floss-Lady while working at my restaurant. I had went over to her table to see how things were doing, and before I knew it she was gushing to me about floss, and shoving various types of floss at me. This was as strange to me as I’m sure it sounds to you, and I’m honestly not exactly sure how the topic of floss came up in the first place, but for over fifteen minutes Crazy jabbered about the floss she sells. She even pulled out her IPad and showed me pictures of celebrities who floss versus those who don’t, and of sea turtles, because plastic floss kills our precious turtles. I interjected at one point and stated the obvious, “You’re really passionate about floss!”. “Oh!” she said with an expression of complete seriousness, “It’s the reason I get up in the morning!”

Crazy’s passion was not dormant. Unlike so many people’s passions, it did not sit on the benches twiddling its thumbs, waiting to be put on the field. Rather, it was active, and impatient, and obtrusive. It forced itself into conversation and it was convincing. Although I hardly remember the facts she told me, I felt greater appreciation for floss simply because her passion could not be argued with.

Although I had a good laugh about it with my co-workers, I will admit that as I reflected on it during my walk home it brought tears to my eyes. Why? Because I wish everyone loved something the way Crazy loved floss. It pains me to see how our society has become void of passionate, enthusiastic people. We need someone’s eyes to shine when they talk about government health care, someone else’s when they discuss road maintenance, and someone else’s when they speak about floss.

If every single thing on this earth was believed in the way Crazy believed in floss, would the world not blaze and pulsate with possibility?

I believe that the worst thing happening to my generation is not obesity or political ignorance or selfies, but it is cynicism. Some wear it unashamedly, others disguise it as humour, but the acrimonious nature so many have adopted is the cancer of our souls.

The root of cynicism, is not – as many would think – bitterness, anger, or pessimism. The root is laziness. Acrimony is easy. Any imbecile can berate and revile; it does not take cleverness or energy to speak on what is less than ideal in this world. But to find beauty – this is the most true and rewarding commission. Assuming a state of mere enthusiasm - in which one does not simply notice beauty here and there, but is constantly striving to recognize and promote beauty – is difficult and exhausting.

But it is worthy.