The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Pursuing passion

OP/ED

I once told one of my professors I’d one day take a whackat a personal commentary. I guess there’s no time better thanthe present.

Passion seems to be the theme in my life this year. Ever since Iattended the missions’ conference at the University ofIllinois at Urbana this winter, that word has surfaced in severalnotable cases.

I applaud both of my fellow The Daily Campus columnistsfor their previous commentaries. Ann Truong’s column wasabout discovering passion. Swede Hanson took another look at MelGibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ. I tip my hatto you both.

The six-letter word crept up on my brother’s Xanga.comweblog as well. “Passion — from Latin word for Passerre— which means ‘to suffer,'” he wrote.”Do you consider your passion in this context?”

And of course for my cultural formations class this semester, Ijust finished reading a 46-page tract by a medieval man namedBernard, an Abbott from Clairveaux who lived around the end of the11th century. The work is entitled “On Loving God,” andBernard brilliantly and beautifully answers the simple questions ofwhy and how should we love God. His arguments boiled down to oneword: passion.

Going into Urbana ’03, I had things figured out. I wasgoing to go for that summer internship at some prestigiousnewspaper that would start me on the ladder to the top of the newsindustry. Dallas was too small. London perhaps? Tokyo? Dare I say… New York, New York?

I was going to graduate a semester early and take those fewmonths to travel: Europe, Australia, Asia … maybe finally visitmy mother’s childhood home in what was formerly Saigon.

I had the plan, and I had the connections. World, here Icome.

But the minute I set foot in that little college town in themiddle of nowhere, I was in trouble. The music, the testimonies,the video productions and dramatic performances, and everythingelse I experienced were designed for one purpose alone: to make meforget about me.

Allison Miguel, one of the missionaries who shared her testimonyon the first night, spent five weeks in Mokkattam, a smallcommunity outside of Cairo. She told us how the citizens ofMokkattam literally lived off the garbage and refuse of Cairo. Oneday, she saw a little girl digging through a pile of garbage.

Miguel said that she wanted to show this little girl God’slove, so she decided to get into the garbage and look with her. Shesaid it was a disgusting task.

The little girl soon found a broken doll in the garbage. Thegirl wiped it clean and enthusiastically showed it to Miguel.

Miguel said she thought about Jesus, and how every time shesinned he had to go down into the garbage to pull her out. She saidthen he would wash her in his blood and present herenthusiastically to God. And he would do it again and again. Hewould suffer for her, you and me. Because that is his passion.

The selfless love of God depicted in The Passion of theChrist was something that I conveniently forget from time totime. Seeing the movie the first week of its release was difficult.The directing, acting, cinematography, etc. made the film’smessage more compelling than I could imagine.

Bear with me. I promise this all has a point.

The internship, the globe-hopping, shoot, even the one day thatI would pay for my new custom Acura NSX with cash all seemed toslip away like a dream I’d woken up from and couldn’tquite remember.

I realized that everything I thought I wanted were all thingsthat I wasn’t really willing to suffer for. My summerinternship at the Fort Worth Star Telegram allowed me a glimpseinto the lives of real reporters. Not a lot of it impressed me.

So now, post-spring break of 2004, I’ve got nothing. Myplans are shot and my strategy is ruined. But it’s okay.Despite everything, it is really okay.

My mother tells me she’s glad that I figured this outearly before I started getting involved in things that wouldprobably make me miserable later. Of course, her typicalAsian-parentness still shines through, since she told me to takeeconomics and accounting this year.

In her column, Truong said, “Find whatever it is that youare passionate about and pursue it like no other, because passionmakes up for everything.”

All right. For once, I’ll agree with you.

 

Christine Dao is a junior journalism major. She may bereached at [email protected].

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