Passion — A living example

From a young age, he has been a constant companion throughout my life. When I was a child, he was my playmate, yet never hesitated to “spare the rod”. In my adolescent, rebellious years, he was my teacher and counselor. And lastly, as I make the final transition from young adult to an independent man, he has been, and still is, my confider and supporter. Always there for me, my father has played a huge part in shaping who I am today.

Look what I have here!” My father announces as he brings out a dusty photo album. I join him on the couch, and slowly browse through the memories captured in print. I see a picture of myself as a toddler taking my first steps towards my father, his face proudly beaming. I see a picture of my dad and I standing overlooking the Grand Canyon, on one of our holiday trips together. I see him with his arm on my shoulder, the day I commissioned as an officer. And then, there are the memories not captured, but forever etched in my head. My father rushing from work to watch me play in my first squash final, cheering ferociously from the stands; staying up late at night to help me with my school work, as he struggled to stay awake following a long day at work.

Family is my father’s greatest passion, and nothing can ever get in the way of spending time with his family. He showed me what it meant to be passionate about something — to enjoy every moment of it and to devote one’s energy towards chasing that passion. And throughout my life, my father has emphasized the importance of being passionate in my activities. He taught me to find fulfillment in what I did, treasuring and pursuing them to the best of my abilities.

I credit my first passion — squash, to my father. When he first introduced the sport to me, it started off as a weekly father- son bonding activity where he would teach me the basics of the game. Soon though, as I got better, and age caught up with him, my father went from coach, to training partner, to fervent supporter. Ever willing to take me to matches and trainings at unearthly hours in the morning or cook late dinners after training had ended, my father fostered my passion for squash through his passion in supporting my journey.

Above all, my father taught me to work hard for the passions in my life. As he used to tell me, “Be passionate about your passion”. Born to a poor family where eating three meals a day was a luxury, my father depended on his work ethic to ensure his children would not experience what he went through. And till this day, hard work drives him in his actions. As a child, I always wondered how my father never seemed to have work to do at home, spending the time cooking dinner and talking to my brother and I about our day in school. It was only much later, when I woke up one night to see the light switched on under his door, did I realize the effort he made to ensure work never got in the way of spending time with his family.

Passions are personal to us and give meaning to our lives — things we will willingly spend our time and energy chasing. They provide us with joy, drive, and fulfillment, such that we would be willing to make sacrifices and work our hardest for them. My father still holds his passions dear to him today, a constant reminder of what I should strive for in the pursuit of my own passions. As I embark on a fresh adventure of studying overseas, I can only hope to emulate my father’s childlike fervor, finding meaning in my endeavors.