Posted: March 17, 2021
This blog post is the last in a three-part series on how People, Purpose, and Passion are vital components to a happy life for people of any age. The first explored how belonging to a supportive community can significantly affect one’s emotional and physical well-being. The next delved into how more fulfilling daily lives reward seniors who make a concerted effort to find their purpose. Where does passion fit?
The intense, heady feeling of enthusiasm and excitement signifies that one is squarely in the territory of passion. The 13th-century Persian poet Rumi wrote, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. With passion pray. With passion make love. With passion eat and drink and dance and play. Why look like a dead fish in this ocean of God?”
Researchers Francois Rousseau and Robert Vallerand set their minds on passion in their 2008 study—the first to consider the role of passionate activities in older adults. In an article published in the International Journal of Aging and Human Development, the authors shared their research results.
“Passions help define individuals because they are central features of individuals’ identity,” they wrote. “Engaging in a passionate activity in a harmonious manner can lead to increased positive affect, which can over time result in increases in well-being.”
Sales Counselor Susan Eakin described Clermont Park as a place where passions can be discovered and indulged.
“We know that residents can discover their passions and interests at any age, and we approach community life with this mentality of openness and opportunity. Passion drives us to learn, grow, and be part of something bigger than ourselves,” said Eakin. “Whether it be art, music, relationships, the moral/environmental/governmental trajectory of our country and world, religion/spirituality, or something else, passions are encouraged at Clermont Park.”
Clermont Park College of Community Life provides residents, team members, and guests the opportunity to share their interests and passions with others in the community. The structured course schedule, first offered in 2014, covers four categories: social engagement, intellectual engagement, physical health, and spiritual health.
One resident who loved sitting outdoors by a pond and feeding fish. When it became too cold for him to enjoy the outdoors, Clermont Park invested in a fish tank for him to continue to enjoy his passion indoors.
Another resident is passionate about serving the community. Phyllis D. was elected president of the Resident Assembly in 2019. “I’ve been here at Clermont Park for 13 years, and I see the good it does when residents volunteer. It contributes to a culture where residents are open and engaging and care about their community,” Phyllis said.
Andrew Sharp, director of community life, is working with a group of residents and team members to develop a multi-part course designed to help residents identify and utilize their personality, passions, and purpose.