I wouldn’t say we are passionless as Americans, because we’re not, but, I would say we can be numb. There, I said it. Let me explain myself before I get the e-mails. I was having lunch with a friend of mine at Chez Black on the Amalfi Cost in Italy. We were discussing some cultural differences between our two countries.
He’s a physician and native of Italy who just wanted to understand what we were all so depressed about in America. I said, “What do you mean depressed”? He said, “Almost every American tourist that I see as a patient notes on their history that there taking anti-depressants. I know that they’re not all chemically imbalanced or bipolar because in every case I’ve asked if a blood test was taken to diagnose and it never was.”
He went on to explain, “In Italy if we love you, we LOVE you, if we hate you, we HATE you. There’s not much middle ground. If we are happy we laugh and cheer, if we’re angry, we cry and yell. In America, if you get too high you’re manic (and you take something to mellow you), if you get too low you’re depressed (and you take something else raise you). In Italy, we call that happy and sad. Those are good things. Feeling really happy and really sad are emotions that serve us and allow us to respond to appropriately. They are not emotions that need to be medicated, they need to be felt. You have so many things to be happy about, what’s the problem?”
It really got me thinking. Is he right? I think he is. How passionate are we really about life? Do our cars embody the passion of a Ferrari? Does American food have the assault on our senses that real Italian food does? Do we appreciate the beauty of woman like our Italian counter parts (or do we just want to hit it)? Are we so passionate about our sporting events that we can’t even be let in the same entrances as the opposing team? In my opinion, the answer to all of the questions above is: nope.
I say excuses are over. It’s time to live! Let’s get out of the numb zone and live like we mean it. Live like we really mean it. Live like tomorrow isn’t promised, because……it’s not. Let’s take a hat tip from my friend, the Italian doctor, in Amalfi and find out what we love to do and begin living La Dolce Vita!
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