By John Matonich
After spending a recent NFL playoff Sunday with a bunch of buddies and then coming home to watch the last game with my bride, I have come to one conclusion: Our country is great because of passion. Without passion, I am not sure why you would get up in the morning.
I spent a good part of the day with Packers fans and besides the thrown items, bad language, head-shaking and predictions for next year, it was a pretty calm afternoon. When I got home, I sat down with my die-hard Steelers fan wife and – given the direction of the game – I relived most of the earlier afternoon, minus the bad language. (I had to say that as my wife reads these articles and I value my well-being.)
The same can certainly be said about our political arena. I am not going to get into this year’s election other than to comment on how passionate all sides were and while that may be an issue for some, I feel this passion is what separates us from many in the world. The only disappointment is when that passion is displaced by greed or need to destroy without cause.
If you turn back the clock, we wouldn’t be here without that passion. Our forefathers shared a passion for moving away from sovereign rule and after a number of unsuccessful attempts to do it diplomatically, we undertook the revolutionary war. It was their shared passion that made the move successful and the rest is history.
We have passions for our schools and our children’s’ education. This passion is what helps format programs and curricula for their education. There certainly isn’t always agreement on how to best educate, but we shouldn’t lose sight that there is a common goal. The disagreement many times is the road to take to get there.
I am always fascinated by people’s viewpoints on things and the passion they have associated with it. It isn’t a bad sign when we don’t agree, but we should have the courtesy to understand and respect those views. A sign of maturity is to agree to disagree without acting like a child.
In all walks of life, it is passion that drives us to succeed. Whether in sports, education, business or politics, passions are key factors for success. There are certainly setbacks at times, but it they shouldn’t change to ultimate goal even if it means putting the cheesehead hats away for the season. There will be a new season in the fall and the hats can be taken out of storage and polished up once again.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: Anthony Easton