Dear you…

Antonia Weir has written a poem for you.

Can we really talk about passion or just be passionate.

We talk a lot, the how’s and why’s but somethings you can just feel inside.

“Prove your passion to me”, they say at interviews,

You go blank for a second, well I… you say

(Often it arises glib and doesn’t quite seem to hold sway,

it sounded more real when you thought about it earlier, whilst walking on the way.)

A cold sweat hits you, slight numbness and terror,

maybe I’m a fraud… a passionless cucumber.

I mean I do things; and I enjoy them; everyone…

From playing, singing, reading, walking, talking,

writing, learning, working, sorting, thinking,

or just being among others who are doing the same.

But, being a Passionate person is not the same as having a singular passion.

That intense emotion, compelling desire, burning

Self-defining need often consumes you whole.

You see I believe the point is to give, and to try and give yourself whole,

so when we turn our hands, hearts and heads to doing things we connect ourselves and can give more truly in full.

Passion is present in the way we live, in the actions that we take and the way that we do

And too many people with a singular passion

would lead to a place where our paths could not meet. 
 So as well as throwing ourselves into a single pursuit, writing all day, dancing till raw,

working to get just that bit more and more and more

We have to remember to look outwards as well, to those around us,

those going through hell, those who are hurt, lonely, in pain, or just upset.

If our ‘passion’ does consume us then what do we have left?

But to be passionate in the way you see life,

is to have a passion for living and doing and being among.

This passion is one which many of us have forgotten as we concentrate on ourselves for those all important ‘next moves’.

We may need to have a passion, but lets try to make it about everything we do.

TED is all about encouraging our passions to make a difference in the world. To challenge and exit people, to show diverse and exiting ways of thinking and doing. When faced with the prospect of talking about the ‘Power of Passion’ for TED my first thought was all the times that someone has asked me at an interview, or in a pub, ’so come on, what are you passionate about?’ (as they stare menacingly into your eyes, daring you to respond.) At which point I tend to become inordinately glib, or have nothing to say at all. This made me quite anxious, until I realised what it was. They are using the word wrong, using it to interrogate the things we do with no idea of who we are or why those things matter. At TED passion is something that should come across in the talks, but as a point of giving, of opening ourselves up, being vulnerable and raising the concerns that need to be spoken to try and make this a better world.

I am really enjoying the Preparation for the talks so far. There are some fantastic ideas circulating. Now it is a matter of learning how to say it well!

Best Wishes,

Antonia Weir

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