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Turn and Face Your Passion

March 23, 2010

2009 North Kansas City High School production of "A Chorus Line"; daughter Xandra at left.

Toward the end of the Broadway musical, A Chorus Line, the director asks the dancers, “What will you do when you can no longer dance?”  For the past hour we (the audience) have listened to stories of pain and sacrifice suffered for the sake of art.  We have been drawn into the characters’ passion for dance.  We have seen one of them rushed to the hospital with a torn knee ligament, his future as a dancer in serious jeopardy.  “If today were the day that you had to stop dancing,” the director asks again, “how would you feel?”  [We the audience feel a song coming on… ;-)]

“Kiss today goodbye,” Morales sings, “the sweetness and the sorrow…”

The cast joins her: “Kiss today goodbye, and point me toward tomorrow…”

They sing with passion: “We did what we had to do…”

This isn’t something they do for the money. They do it because NOT doing it HURTS.

“Won’t forget, can’t regret…What I did for love.”

They dance because they LOVE to dance. It’s what they were created to do. Yet, as much as they love to dance, they realize their talent is a gift, and “the gift was [theirs] to borrow.” They did what they had to do because of a burning passion. Each of these dancers has given it their best shot. They can honestly say they have no regrets. They have run the good race, fought the good fight. If today were the last day to dance, they would give it a kiss, wave goodbye, turn, and face tomorrow — with grace and dignity and no regret.

What is your gift? What were you created to do? Have you given it your best shot? If not, why not?

Chances are, you are afraid. You are allowing what Seth Godin calls the Lizard Brain to control your actions. Fear has overpowered love, even that which you love so much that it HURTS to not do it. I know. I’ve been there, and I return all too often.

Imagine that tomorrow is the last day you will ever be able to (fill in the blank). What do you need to do today so that tomorrow you can wave goodbye, turn, and face the future with no regrets?

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