"A strong or barely controllable emotion" .... "An intense desire or enthusiasm for something."

How many of us have identified our three main passions in life?

This is a question I would ask students interviewing for positions with the three landscape contracting firms I worked for in the Philadelphia area. I lectured in the evening and interviewed at colleges the following day through the Placement Office on campus.

I would invariably get this "Deer in the headlight look." This is because, in more cases than not, it was the first time these young men and women had been asked this question! This is a subject that needs to be addressed at perhaps the sophomore level of high school. Why? Well, 73 percent of we Americans go to work and do NOT like what we are doing. We are not following our passions. Money you say, sure that is nice, but I think one can have your 'cake and eat it too.'

I had the ultimate honor of working with Ralph Nader's staff years ago. Talk about a group of young people that were passionate, dedicated and psyched - WOW. I think I was a passionate individual at the time, but this involvement with causes so huge I could barely get my head around them was memorable.

My Father was one of six individuals instrumental in the creation of Earth Day in 1969. A back-to-back All-American football player at Cornell (Class of '41 ), he went on to be inducted into the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame in 1981 - Roger Staubach was at our table that night. Was football a passion of my Dad's, nope. He played to get an education and hardly ever talks about sports. He will be the first to expound on ways to support and develop one's passions. Is he a role model for me? You betcha!

I was brought up this way, my children are working in their 'Fields of Passion,' and so can you and yours. Go forth and pick some Passion Fruit today!

Scott Drahos, a retired army reservist and registered landscape architect. He is presently in Haiti. Reach him at psdra@hotmail.com.

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