Ion charged

My understanding of matters of chemistry and physics is, to say the least, very limited. However my passion as an educator and in other endeavors in life is crystal clear to me. It occurred to me recently that ‘passion’ together with many of the positive words we use to illustrate its presence, inputs or results all end in “ion”. This revelation was accompanied by another, perhaps more startling one given my background, and that is that taken alone ‘ion’ is a word used to depict a type of building block of every physical thing – the air, water, human beings.

An ion is an atom –the smallest identifiable piece of matter that makes up the building blocks of every physical thing. – or molecule – a group of atoms. To be an ion the total number of electrons (subatomic particles with a negative charge) in the atom is not equal to the total number of protons, (subatomic particles with a positive charge) giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. and

Ok, so an ion can, on balance be positively or negatively charged. Negatively charged ions, for example are good for health and healing. Our body system will not adequately function without negative ions. So negative ions can have a positive effect on people. Conversely positive ions can have a negative effect on people. To confuse things even further the removal of an electron from an atom is in fact called a positive ion and the adding of an extra electron is called a negative ion. Conclusion? Negative and positive in terms of ions are actually reversed. See

So to the relationship between ions and passion.

Passion has a positive effect on people.

To realise one’s passion requires self-awareness and hence the realisation of what makes us passionate and its stimulation into action. Some imagination is required in the generation and creation of passion. For some the practice of a captured passion is in fact an innovation or even a revolution. However to have true passion requires the motivation and determination to see it through. For some the projection of their passion is part of their vision to positively impact on others; for others it is a mission through vocation.

The outcomes of the generation of passion are full of emotion, and encompass such things as elation, jubilation and exhilaration both in the passionate person and the people whose lives they touch.

So passion is ion charged.

Who cares if in physics and chemistry ions are positive but really negative and negative but really positive

Passion is all about being charged up with the right ions.


Who makes a difference?

  It makes no difference who you are or what you look like, or used to look like – one of the facts of life is ageing and eventual death.  However, have you ever thought about what things about a person really makes a difference to you? Their physical appearance tells one story, but their actions tell us more. Mother Theresa physically was frail but it was not her fragility that we remember her by, but her actions.  There are many stories to tell about who has made a difference in people’s lives.  Recently at a Rotary Seminar I attended we heard a Chief Executive Officer of a famous football club tell of the impact his father had made on the life of a poor farmer in Russia. The story goes something like this: Ian’s father had read about how a particular farmer in Russia had scrounged around for a spare type for his tractor so that he could continue working on his land. Ian’s father said to his son “I’m going to buy that farmer a new tractor”. Through many emails, much lobbying, many hours of toil, and with the help of fundraising through Rotary, he achieved this goal. Ian’s father eventually travelled to Russia and met the farmer. It was Ian’s father that made a difference in the life of the Russian farmer!

Who makes a difference (or has made a difference) in your life? Do (have) you make a difference to anyone else’s life ?   As educators we aim to touch the lives of all of our students, particularly through our passion for teaching and our specialty area in the curriculum, but also through our genuine displays of care and concern for the young people in our charge.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. The original post can be found at  (I have “Australianized some  the questions so substitute appropriate local names if reading from any other country, or just go to the link for the original).

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them – read straight through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in Australia. 2. Name the last five Melbourne Cup winning jockeys. 3. Name the last five winners of the Miss Australia pageant. 4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. 5. Name the last half dozen Gold Logie Winners. 6. Name the Australian Gold medal winners from the last 3 Olympic Games.

So how did you do?

The point is: none of us remember many of the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. With many, achievements are forgotten. Awards tarnish. Accolades & certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school. 2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time. 3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile. 4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special. 5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? – The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not ones with the most credentials, the most money…or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most. 

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia” [Charles M Schultz]

”Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!” [Oscar Wilde]