I realized something about myself yesterday afternoon: the mood that American culture tries so hard to suppress, the mood from which our endless sources entertainment distract us, that mood is what really puts a fire in my belly. For me, the best term for this mood is "melancholy."
By "melancholy," I mean that sense that something isn't right, that something must change, and, what's more, that I can do something about it. It's the feeling I get when I hear a story that's waiting to be told, a song needing to be sung, a wrong needing to be made right, a woman needing to be loved, a child needing to be hugged, a difficult choice needing to be made. It's when I know that someone needs to speak up about injustice, and that I have such a voice for speaking!
Truth be told, it's not a "pleasant" feeling, at least not in the sense that it puts me at ease and puts a smile on my face. But it is a feeling of knowing that, to quote Albus Dumbledore, sometimes we have to choose between doing what is right and doing what is easy. Such an emotion—if that's even the best term—is ultimately what moves me to act, and to use whatever talents and resources I have to make this world better for as many people as I can.
In some ways, "melancholy" taps into my Messiah complex; but if I can realize that I can only do my best, come what may, then I think I become my best self. And, frankly, I'd rather be that than Messiah any day.