At first glance, the pursuit of passion can seem self-absorbent, selfish even –all that time spent talking about what we want, willing to do only that which interests us, fully wrapped up in our preferences, ignoring all else.
Yet in reality, as self-absorbed as this search might seem, it is the highest form of service to others. Passion, as inward-focusing as it might seem, is also outward looking, benefitting those that consume the output from such an endeavour because while it’s fulfilling to the giver, it’s also of service to the recipients.
It’s easy to see how some types of passion benefit others, e.g., academia for the research it yields, teaching for moulding minds, pastoring for edification, doctoring and nursing for curing of diseases, social entrepreneurship for the betterment of communities, criminal justice for life and liberty, etcetera. Yet other passions are just as dignified and just as impactful.
For a long time I struggled to see honour in the pursuit of the arts. I enjoyed movies when I was a teenager but didn’t grasp the concept of becoming an actor. I enjoyed fashion but saw it as vanity. Beauty? Now that was just vacuous/vapid. I loved music but failed to understand musicians (even though at the time I was in a music band). I enjoyed good food without understanding it came courtesy of the chef.
In my inability to correlate the enjoyment of the output back to its creator, all pleasures afforded me through artistical channels we brought to naught as I saw little value in terms of such acts being beneficial or of service to others, even as I enjoyed those very outputs myself. Needless to say, my attitude displayed a disregard got the effort that goes into such endeavours and in the process exposed a total lack of self-awareness on my part.
Today I feel such gratitude to those that continue to pursue their passion, those that find a way to unshackle themselves from uninteresting encumberments and move towards their True North, those that fight against all odds to fulfil their vision from idea to creation.
I am also grateful to those that hold the fort down while giving others wings to fly in pursuit of their passion. That is a sacrificial act that deserves recognition, honour and acknowledgment.
Now I’m hard-pressed to find a job, any job, that is not in the service of others. In this light, it is all noble. Every station in life counts; such is the dignity of work.
We do our best work when we are doing something we love and are passionate about. Nothing zaps our energy more that forcing ourselves to do something we have no interest in. There’s no point in forcing ourselves to become what we’re not. Our greatest work is achieved when we are passionate about whatever it is we choose to engage in.
Lately I have been mulling over this reality as I observe and consume artistic endeavours from other creatives. So to all those artists, scientists, creatives, I say thank you, for the fashion, the formulas, the music, the case-studies, the breakthroughs, the research, the art, etcetera. Thank you for doing your best work to enrich, first your own lives then ours in turn. Because of your courage, you make this world a beautiful place with every new day that dawns. Cheers, Grey ღ