Stephanie Pearce: Lighting your fire within
I read a quote the other day that said, “Find what lights your fire and then chase that match.” I thought it was pretty appropriate considering my daughter had just given a speech last weekend about how to light your 4-H fire. She talked about the different people in her life that put wood on her fire to help feed it and make it grow.
It is no wonder that passion, like fire, grows when you surround yourself with the correct people or fuel. That is the thing; finding people who encourage by many means and take your hand to walk with you to your destiny. Accomplishing the objectives you want are not usually something done alone. There are so many steps and with each of those steps are people who make an impact on you.
In the same sense, there are people who want to extinguish that fire and passion. They see how happy you are and they get jealous with what they see. They don’t see the hard work put into every day. They think things come easy for these passionate people. They don’t like that this person may have the spotlight for a while and they do all they can to tear these people down and steal their passion. These negative people get a lot of attention too. Negativity can be like a magnet. The positive people need to turn to them and shine their passion more. When they do, like a magnet, the negativity is pushed away instead of sticking to them.
It saddens me when I see people who genuinely have a passion for something and are judged harshly for their enthusiasm. I want to be more of the person who feeds this fire and passion than who tries to extinguish it. We have so many youth making good choices. Unfortunately, it is so easy to find individuals who make fun of the kids making the right choices or find folks who are more than willing to spotlight every fault in the people trying to make the right choices and grow their passions. It is our job as parents, mentors and community members to keep an eye out for these people. When we see the passion suckers coming out, we need to blow them away.
When we see these passionate souls, we need to make sure we are available whenever they need more wood added to their fires. We need to take their hands when they are tired and walk with them until they can run towards their match again. Inspire them to be uniquely themselves and not work to please the people around them, but keep focusing on their goals. There will be mistakes made because life is real, but we need to focus on the positive and keep them moving in the right direction.
I was honored that my daughter mentioned me and one of my long life friends in her speech as two people that had fed her fires. My friend and I are passionate about our community, the youth in our community, and their futures. I hope we all can find what lights our fire and chase the match. I also hope we can surround ourselves with the right people to feed it with good fuel.
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