Recently, my husband and I attended the inaugural TEDxSomerville, a tremendous day of talks, music, and interesting people. In the afternoon, we heard an incredibly rousing talk by a librarian (yes, a librarian). Far from my childhood memories of librarians with their hair pulled tight in a bun, looking over their glasses and down their noses at me, this woman was hip, happening, and clearly passionate about libraries. She spoke stirringly about the reach, depth, and access to knowledge that libraries provide. I was amazed by how the role of librarian had evolved with social media.
That evening, as we drove home, we happened to drive by the august Cambridge Public Library, a behemoth glass structure that seemed to glow in the dark.
Mark and I were so moved by the talk and the serendipity of passing by the library that the next morning we showed up there at 9 a.m. armed with our proof of residency, to become card-carrying members of not just the CPL but the entire Minuteman Library System.
While checking out my first item, I witnessed an interaction between three librarians that at first was comical, then inspiring. Librarian A was checking in returned books when she came across a book were a third of the cover was completely torn off. She showed this to Librarians B and C, and there was outrage that someone would do that to a book. Librarian B turned to Librarian C and said, “That person should be held accountable.” And then Librarian A dropped the bomb—the cover had been torn off to serve as a bookmark. The book had been capriciously beheaded. A hush fell between the librarians as they mourned the book’s fate.
I related this story to my husband as we walked across the library lawn. Our initial laughter at the cartoon-like display of concerned behavior quickly turned to awe. These librarians were so deeply passionate about their work. It made me glad to see, and glad that I, too, am passionate about what I do.
How about you?
- How are you living your passion?
- What do you hold with great reverence at work?
- Where are you willing to take a stand for?
- If there is no passion in what you do, can you change that?
- Or do you need to find something new to do?
Passion and purpose go hand in hand. It is hard to lead a full life without them.