My dear friend told me an astonishing thing: he is passionate about nothing. He enjoys life, is happy and busy, but passion? No, he said. Then he told me a second surprising thing:
“I need to find out why.”
To me, this sounded as if he is feeling there is something wrong with him, as he is not internally experiencing what is externally called “passion.” Living a life with passion in the U.S. is de rigueur. Anyone living without a passion needs to find one right away. Go to classes. Talk to a therapist. Find out what is wrong with you. We undergo a tremendous amount of pressure to have, and live, in a state of passion.
But is that really healthy? Is it even a natural state? Is my friend, for instance, broken or impaired if he does not have a driving passion, or do he just lack a true understanding of his ‘natural state’? What if his natural state does not include passion at all – is that like having a misappointed soul?
What if he is happy but not wildly passionate, or driven? Is that ok? Is that enough?
And what about purpose? Is life worth living without purpose? Is a life worth living if it is a happy, content life, but with no particular purpose? In both of these cases the answer could be yes, or no. The reasons for a lack of passion or purpose could be fear or lack of resources. But even this implies lack.
My sweet dog Henry is sleeping next to me as I write. He was engineered, as a pug, for companionship. He’s lucky – there’s paperwork on his purpose, which seems to be to hang out with me all day or anyone whose lap he can conquer for napping. What if he has no purpose? Is his little pug life less worthy, less living, than the life he was given? And what of children? Are they only worthy of just being happy but only until they are, say, 16, at which point they need to start thinking about purpose and passion?
I wonder if passion and purpose were invented during the industrial revolution to get people to work more, or, during the 60’s, as a result of working too much. I might have to research this.
Is a life truly lacking if the bearer simply is?
I don’t have the answer to this for myself. How about you? What do you think? Do you have purpose and/or passion? Do they go together? How does your view of yourself turn based on these components?
If you aren’t passionate or purposeful, is that ok with you? How do you feel about yourself in this regard? Are you trying to change it?
If you are, what do you feel about that part of you? What if it went away? What if your passion evaporated tomorrow – who would you be then?
Love to hear from you.