There is a secret society, made up of young people all over the world, who have banded together because of their love for hip-hop dance.
They live in a realm, connected worldwide through social media, where the currency of the day isn't money, or power, or real estate. These small tribes barter and trade with PASSION. It fuels them, propelling them to balance hefty school schedules and first-time jobs with 8-hour rehearsals and aching body parts.
They come in all shapes and sizes, practice all sorts of faiths and belong to different political parties. They are each pulled by a higher calling that commands them to move. That commands them to dance.
I've been lucky enough to spend much time in my life as a member of this community. In the years I've spent watching myself and my comrades nurse sore ankles and balance 18-hour work/school/dance days, I've observed a common thread that always seems to bind us.
Passion: Passion inspired George Lucas to create a whole new universe. It's what motivated Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to invent us into a new digital world. Passion is what moves Oprah to be, well... Oprah.
Our love for it, our addiction to it, lights the path on a road that none of us are able to leave unwalked. It is our backbone, and the source of all our achievement
PASSION --> SUCCESS
Members of the community reject the notion that personal success should come at the expense of following their calling. Beliefs we've carried from our former lives, where you're only as good as your SAT score, or your resume and paycheck determines your level of worth, melt away when you live here. When you're a member of the community, passion is the only metric used to gauge success.
Our love for dance fuels many of us to pursue careers solely in pursuit of things we love to do. We attack our academic and professional interests with the same tenacity as Miley at a foam finger rummage sale.
Passion is what forces us to get our homework done, advance in the workplace and commit to staying healthy, because nothing can get in the way of doing what we love.
PASSION --> CREATIVITY
Even though members of our world speak just about every language on Earth, few have put into words the joy we all feel when it comes to the idea of creation. The making of something from nothing. This is because for us, creation is based on movements and feelings, not just words.
Every day, one of us is gifted with the spark that eventually becomes our best idea. The moment a choreographer hears his new favorite song, or a director visualizes the concept for her team's next competition routine.
Millions of us take these creations and share them with our world. The best of us become renowned for the masterpieces they create. They become our legends.
PASSION --> COMMUNITY
The older I get, the more I see us for what we truly are: a peaceful, emerging global movement. We don't topple corrupt governments or invade Wall Street -- though we're all for the toppling of bad things for a great cause (and actually, if you took away our music or right to dance, you'd probably see us do some invading).
We're different. We're what happens when the good guys WIN. We're that light at the end of the tunnel, when the war is won and everybody gets to go home and live the life they've always wanted to live. We're that life they're living.
We stick together. We use movement to argue and to make peace. We leverage our talent to rally for all the other causes we love. We were connected when all the Internet consisted of was two cans and a string. And though we don't always make big headlines, we will use social media in ways the 10 o'clock news won't understand, and most corporations won't predict.
Many long-standing members of the community have taken on the charge of spreading its message to whoever will hear it. Happiness is NOW, (yes, that's actually the company's name) is a fledgling nonprofit, created by some of us to inspire youth to pursue their passions. Now in its second year, the group provides presentations to middle and high school students, nurturing the philosophy that the key to unlocking success lies in following your dreams.
Although response to these presentations has been primarily hopeful, it's still too early to tell whether this message will hit home for one student or a million. In a time of government shutdowns, peak unemployment and looming chemical warfare, the idea of a clandestine group of youngins' throwing together dance moves seems mighty unimportant to the average person.
That's OK, because every day, new members to the cause are born who realize that the solutions to these problems won't come from someone average. They'll come from someone passionate... Happiness is NOW :) Visit: www.happinessisnow.org