There are many quotes about fire. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” “Light a fire they can’t put out.” “If it doesn’t set your soul on fire, it’s not worth the burn'” are just a few.
What is it about fire that we are all drawn to? Is it the heat that it emits? The flame? The color? There is something very magical about fire. People have prayed to it for years, centuries even. There is even a fire God, Hephaestus.
But where did all of the terms about fire and setting one to our passions start? How did lighting a fire under it become a term to get us moving?
Well if you didn’t know, it was actually back when chimney sweepers had an actual fire lit under them so they would climb the chimney when they were scared. I’ve had some bad bosses through they years but I’d say the guy who came up with this form of motivation wins hands down.
But this origin does make sense, when it comes to us wanting something. “Light a fire under it”. We will even use this phrase when someone doesn’t do anything about getting something they want. “He just won’t light a fire under it.” We might even say, “I’d like to light a fire under him!” But neither one will do anything, if the person isn’t motivated to change.
Let’s face it, a lot of us talk about how we want something but then do nothing about it. I don’t know if it comes from being lazy, entitled or just plain complacent. Either way, a life without passion is no life at all if you ask me.
One of my favorite quotes about fire is: Those who have walked through the fire, leave sparks of light wherever they go. These are the people we find ourselves mesmerized by. It’s not so much a beauty thing, it’s an internal thing. They seem to radiate a sort of light from within.
This to me is the ultimate form of a person who has lived some life, worked through their crap and has come out the other side with a sense of calm that emits like a beacon to those looking for it. They are unwavering in their passions, their conviction to what is right and wrong for them and are unapologetic about who they are.
If walking through the fire can bring this type of peace, then I don’t understand why more of us aren’t doing it.
There is of course the one saying about fire that goes like this: If you’re gonna play with fire, you’re gonna get burned. Well, come on! Anyone knows that playing with fire will make this happen, but I think the real meaning behind this quote is quite simple.
If you do stupid shit like interact with shitty people who do shitty things, then you’re gonna get more shit. It’s pretty simple. And if you’re with someone else or have a family and you expose them to the shit, well then they’ve all essentially gotten burned, haven’t they? Lesson here: stay away from shitty people who do shitty things and you’ll be okay and so will the people who say you care about.
Now back to fires. Have you lit one lately? I’m trying to light one right now. It’s under a 15 year old boy who told me to get him up to work out, but his face is buried in his pillow and he won’t stir.
I see the fire in his eyes whenever he plays football. The fire in his eyes makes me want to help him. So that’s what I do. We all need someone like this. Someone who see the fire in your eyes and wants to do something about it.
May we all find the fire that moves us and a person who sees it in us and wants to be there on the journey. And if we can’t find either, maybe we keep burning the home fires of our own soul, until it find us, and a spark ensues and turns into a beautiful flame.
Light it up!