What really matters

A friend of mine recently offered this tip: Ask the people you meet about their passion, what they enjoy or how they made a difference today, instead of just asking about their job, where they live and what their marital status is.

I think that's a great tip. In fact, her words have inspired me to tell you a little about me. Not about my work, my home or my relationship, but instead about the things I'm passionate about, the things that bring joy to my life and the things I do for other people.
I am passionate about social justice; being a life-long learner; forming lasting connections with people of all backgrounds; cooking; experiencing the world; and being honest and open, no matter the cost.

Dancing to a funky beat til' the sun comes up; spending time with loved ones; and being alone with my thoughts on a hiking trail bring me great joy.

I help others through volunteer work, from helping educate the public about environmental issues as a volunteer canoe guide, to encouraging family-work balance through the initiatives of an employee advocacy group I lead at my workplace. In the past, I volunteered as an arts and crafts teacher for an after-school program, as well as worked as a volunteer Spanish-English interpreter at a free health clinic for the uninsured.I am always seeking a new opportunity to give back to the community.
Now, I ask each of you reading this post: What are your passions? What brings you joy? What have you done to make a difference in someone else's life?


  1. this is a great idea, and an even better post!
    people always get mad at me because i don't know what my friends do for work, or even if some of them are married or have boyfriends!
    i don't care about what people do from 9-5 or in the bedroom, I care about what they do that is important to them.
    also, the LAST thing I want to talk about with my friends is work, so I extend the same courtesy to them

  2. Hi! that is a great post. Can I repost that on my page? I want to answer the questions but it might be a bit of a long comment if i do it here! :)

  3. Absolutely Novelista--Repost away! I look forward to reading your response.

  4. Thank you for this post! It really made an impact on my day! I have been trying to change my outlook on life and be more positive. I think this will definitely help in the way I interact with people I meet.

    You sound like a very kind, generous person. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for reading shansPLC! I am happy that my post made an impact on you.

  6. I gave you an award today!

    Happy Friday!

  7. Awesome blog post although, like you said I may be a bit biased but that doesn't stop me from recognizing a great idea :) I particularly enjoyed reading the comments which tells me this will be paid forward and we may be on to building a more caring and kind community! Thanks for blogging about this, MJ!

  8. Love it - referred here by Novelista Barista.

    "What are you passionate about?" is the first question they ask in life coach training. Great stuff - I'll probably jump on the reposting train myself!

    (let's link up on Twentysomething Bloggers - what is your sn there?)

  9. I'm finally reading this post and it's such a great idea. It is making me realize how little I know about certain people I care for, and also how little people konw about me. You'll definitely see a repost on my blog.