We all hold things near and dear to our hearts. Sometimes, the things that cause us the greatest pain become a life's passion. For me, part of the motivation to work on educational interventions for kids with Autism stem from feeling like I'd failed GameTeen. I know I haven't (for the most part), but it's amazing what fuels our pursuits.

Now, a different person, they might take a different approach. They may want to raise money, have walkathons, bake sales, gala affairs, all with money going towards research on what causes Autism. That's a fine pursuit, too-it's just not my cup of tea. I am of the mind that the person with Autism is probably going to be a great innovator, based on those who have been identified as being on the spectrum. Hey, any research is good research, though, so the fact that people want answers is a good thing.

That's my personal crusade. I spoke of my friend Janie's personal passion right now, she's trying to find answers for her son, Jon. As a mom, I totally get Janie's passion for finding answers, and I know Janie-she brings people together with a warped sense of humor and her unrelenting faith. We talked about her starting an online support group, because I see that being Janie's passion.

Within each of us, there is something that fires us up, that we will pursue until we are exhausted because we think the answer is just around the corner. It's important to know that everyone else on the planet has a different cause that pushes them to get out and give everything they can in that pursuit of answers. It is admirable when others use that fire in their belly to further the cause.

However, at the same time, just because your passion is not the same as someone else's does not mean that they have lesser needs, that their raison d'etre is insignificant. Far from it! While it may seem that way to you, but also consider that they could be thinking exactly the same about what you're doing. Neither is right-because anything that gets us fired up for positive change is a good thing

Some causes have lots of money, others have celebrities speaking for them, others have amazing buy in from commercial entities. I'm thinking of Susan G. Komen for breast cancer, Michael J. Fox for Parkinsons Disease, and the St. Jude Foundation getting support from many retailers from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Others get out there and their workforce's goal is to raise money to fund their cause, like Salvation Army.

At one time or another, I've supported these entities and dozens more, respecting that passion to find answers, to help someone in need, to make a difference. Supporting these others never diminished my personal passion, nor will it ever. If I went around bashing other causes, because they've got more money behind them, or more people know about them, wouldn't it just turn people off to my cause?

What say you?


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