A 10-year-old girl said something that has had me thinking about passion ever since.
Interesting word, passion. It gives us compassion, passive, dispassionate, and a host of related concepts. At its core, from the Latin, “passion” means “to suffer.” It’s opposite, passive, or impassive, means “unfeeling.”
I was teaching cartooning to children in the afternoons following vacation Bible school. At one point, I had to take a phone call and turned the class over to my teenage grand-daughter who was assisting me. Ten minutes later, I told the children about the call.
“One of the editors of a weekly Baptist paper in another state called about using a certain cartoon. I found the drawing in a file and scanned it into the computer and emailed it to her. Next week, that cartoon–which is still in that file cabinet in my office–will be seen in 50,000 newspapers in homes all over that state.”
Then I asked the question on their minds but which none dared to raise.
“Now, how much money do you think I made doing that?”
Some kid said, “Thousands.” The rest had no idea.
“Zero,” I said. “Not a dime.”
“Very few cartoonists make much money doing this. Almost all have to have ‘day’ jobs to pay the rent.”
“So why,” I asked, “do we keep drawing cartoons when it doesn’t pay much money?”
That’s when the 10-year-old girl raised her hand and said something I had never really thought of.