Passion Leads to Death

I started crying in the Viand diner this morning when the photo of the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, came on the television news. She so clearly loved the orca who killed her. She loved her work as an animal trainer.

The kids said, “Mom, don’t cry.”

But I don’t know how to explain this. What is the life lesson here? Tell my kids to chose their passions carefully? I do not want them to luge, to ski, to snowboard, feed predators for their life’s work.

And by the way, I do not want them to travel with relief efforts to developing countries either. How much can we protect our children from risky, heartfelt passions? How much can we protect ourselves? What is life — if it is not an engagement with physical and meaningful challenges which have the potential to consume you?

I hope, like me, my kids will find their passion in literature and in theater. These seem relatively benign passions. Although I suppose every passion has its its dangers. When you are fully committed, you can lose everything, including your life. Sobering and sad thoughts on a snowy Manhattan morning.  

I guess this relates to my life lesson – “live everyday as if it is your last.” Cliche? Yes, but cliches can be true.

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