1 (a): a belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit; (b): religious fanaticism
2 (a): strong excitement of feeling: ARDOR; (b) something inspiring zeal or fervor
Enthusiasm (n.): c. 1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16th century) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos “divine inspiration (produced by certain kinds of music, etc.),” from enthousiazein “be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy,” from entheos “divinely inspired, possessed by a god,” from en “in” + theos “god” (theo-). Acquired a derogatory sense of “excessive religious emotion through the conceit of special revelation from God” (1650s) under the Puritans; generalized meaning “fervor, zeal” (the main modern sense) is first recorded 1716.
“…the worst thing said about him is that he was "uncurious.”
Yvon Chouinard (b. 1938, rock climber, environmentalist and outdoor industry, founder of the company, Patagonia, and also the author of the book, “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman”)
“excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness, for I am really drunk with intellectual vision whenever I take a pencil or graver into my hand.”
William Blake (1757-1827, poet, painter, engraver and mystic who lived and worked in London at a time of great social and political change (i.e. the American Revolution in 1775 and the French Revolution in 1789, and who worked to bring about change in the social order and the minds of men.)
“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.”
Gordon Parks (1912-2006, self-taught artist who became the first African-American photographer for Life and Vogue magazines; also was a film director and screenwriter for such films like “The Learning Tree,” based on the novel he wrote and “Shaft.”)
“Enthusiasm is a supernatural serenity.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, teacher, historian, and a Transcendentalist writer, exploring the soul and nature)
“It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894, American physician and important medical reformer, poet, professor, lecturer, author, and member of the Fireside Poets)
“Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”
Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993, American minister and author known for his works like “The Power of Positive Thinking and “A Guide to Confident Living”)
“You can buy a person’s time and work, but you cannot buy their enthusiasm, effort, and passion. Those are earned, and as such, given freely.”
Jeffrey Fry (businessman with experiences in industries as diverse as semiconductors, broadband and wireless communications systems, and computer hardware)
“Interest and enthusiasm are the wellspring of continually evolving community life: they create bonds which unite us whether we are young or old, nearby or far from each other; they allow human warmth and love to be the formative forces in personal and community life and striving.”
Henning Hansmann (author of the book,“Education for Special Needs: Principles and Practice in Camphill Schools”)
“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
I try to plant seeds all the time. It’s become an integrative habit. I don’t even think about it. I do whatever is needed. My aim has always been to be of service at every level of my life.
But, every once in a while I get a reminder to keep living an enthusiastic life with a call or text from someone who said one of my small acts of generosity made a difference.
A while back when I lived in New York City and was raising my children we owned a cooperative apartment in a small pre-war building that had been originally built back in 1906. I and my husband, at the time, could purchase that apartment at the ground floor of its market price, because of the deterioration of that West Harlem neighborhood.
It was a beautiful six-story building, renovated anew into 32 units, an elevator, and security guard, which to NYC standards was almost an equivalent to living in a luxury building, except without the crime waves and drugs that surrounded the community.
After I had my son I stayed home from work for the two years, and because I had a little bit more time I volunteered as a community liaison partnering with senior citizens who were also concerned about cleaning up the surrounding neighborhood.
At first, no one knew what to make of me. I was young in my early thirties and focused, and some were suspicious I wasn’t sincere and had an ulterior agenda to jockey for some political appointment.
But, all I wanted was a safe neighborhood and clean playground for my children and neighbors, much like the neighborhoods I seen in wealthier parts of Manhattan. And because I was so clear about my intentions and visions those politicians, who wanted to use my energy for their ends, could not buy me. I wasn’t for sale, because I had a clear vision.
It took a while but eventually our building became a United Nation of owners. Not only were we Americans of Caucasian, African, Latino, and Caribbean descent, but we also had families from Philippines, Italy, Copenhagen, and South Africa. Also, the police paid more attention to our concerns and cleaned out the drugs and crime. Miraculously new playgrounds were constructed as well.
In our building across the hall from where my family lived was a beautiful brother and sister who shared an apartment together. When they went away they asked my family to housesit and take of their cat. This is how small the world is. I later found out that the brother, Greg, worked for my beloved uncle who was vice president of one of the major medical labor unions. Eventually, Greg got married to a fine woman, had a son and moved away, so did his sister, Sally.
When I ran into Sally I immediately intuit a housing program that Greg and his wife could apply and own of their home, so I brought that information to the attention to Sally. I could immediately see that she was suspicious of my intentions, but I gave her the information anyway knowing that Greg would receive it and know of my pure intentions.
Sometimes, as human being we falter in our faith to love fearlessly, but eventually we come back to the mystical spirit of enthusiasm where we love and serve with divine and heart-centered intentions.
Whatever you do, don’t ever betray yourself by giving up your enthusiasm for life despite anyone else’s fears or insecurities. Always dare to be bold and beautiful in your own Light!
Lovingly and Faithfully Yours, Tonya