A seemingly harmless question threw me off the other day! (Thump!) (Rhetorically speaking of course!) It wasn’t the question itself. Nor was it the ability to find the actual answer. It was the possible answer that really made me wee bit uncomfortable.
Where is the passion?
Tied to convenience.
(Thud! Thump! Thwack!)
(Batman Batman) (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
This friend and I were talking about “passion” and how not many of us feel the real-deal anymore! At first I was pretty indignant, hey passionate is my middle name (no, really!) and it seemed pretty incredulous that I wouldn’t find even one thing that I was really passionate about. Passionate-passionate about. Impossible. And then I sat down to make a list. And that’s when the trouble started. Every time I was convinced a particular thing was the object of my passion, it seemed as if it were but only till it was “convenient” for me.
Let me explain. First on my list is Grand Prix. As an interest, it was something that I cultivated (to impress this guy I had a crush on in high school, pathetic I know!) and later it grew on me. Enough of a “passion” for me to make a big deal every Sunday morning and watch it no matter what. That was when I was still in India. After having moved to the U.S, it turned out most races were telecast at some god forbidden hour and I decided I’d much rather be sleeping then. And hey, if I was awake, it had to be for better reasons! (ahem!) Turns out, I was not so passionate about Formula 1 after all. And then I thought, I am passionate about soccer. World cup anyway. And then it turns out, the only reason that’s a sustainable “passion” is only because it happens every four years. (Sigh)
Pressure is on, and I go back to my list. And I thought, hey, I am passionate about books! That’s something I can be certain about. I religiously go to Amazon every month and buy books I want to read. Religiously. But does that count as passion? Because there have been months when I just plain forgot! And another ugly incident comes to mind. When the latest Harry Potter book came out last year, I too was caught up in the frenzy to have that book on the day it released but me being me, I forgot to pre-order the book. So on that day I stepped into Barnes and Noble to find they were sold out. So was Borders. And I thought screw it. Three days later I bought it off a supermarket. Passionate? Hmmm.
There are a lot of things I am passionate about I thought. Like writing, traveling, going dancing, reading, environment, global warming et etc etc but as it turns out, they are all deeply tied to my convenience. (Don’t judge me.)
And then there are the ‘causes’. I was outraged by the blogger ban and passionately was against blog censorship. I passionately feel for women’s rights and really believe in doing something for promoting education among street children. While I passionately ‘believe’, other than occassionaly donating money and talking about it, I never recall getting my hands dirty.
Seriously though, is this something that plagues my entire generation? I know I am not apathetic but I also know that apathy is a major ball we can no longer dodge when it comes to the bigger picture among the youth. We are so comfortably ensconced in our perceived realities and quest for future that other than eulogize, desecrate and condemn actions/events happening elsewhere, we rarely jump in. Its either because we can’t, we won’t or we don’t know how to. Caught between disposable incomes, growing salaries, expanding ambitions, personal spaces, expendable boundaries, hedonistic lifestyles and whatever else, maybe we have been bred to do nothing more than intellectualize over our lattes! (Or blog about it!)
I know its wrong of me to over simplify and generalize. But I am speaking “generally”, so maybe I am allowed. There are way too many causes and things for us to be really passionate about these days. And, way too few incidents, where, we step out of our comfort zones to tackle things hands on. And that has got to change.
So go ahead and start talking about it. At least. Don’t let those scathing, “Oh but you are just a pseudo intellectual” get to you! We have to start somewhere. Right?
A seemingly harmless question threw me off the other day! (Thump!) (Rhetorically speaking of course!) It wasn’t the question itself. Nor was it the ability to find the actual answer. It was the possible answer that really made me wee bit uncomfortable. But now, I am better prepared. After much introspection, I know I might get thrown onto the dusty track but I know with enough conviction, that if it mattered enough, I’d be up on my feet, dusting off and ready to march into the glowing embers!
What about you?
Where is the passion?