Follow Your Passion

June 20, 2014

I Just read an article by someone who, in my opinion, couldn’t ever have had a passion for anything, at least not a passion for the kind of career he wanted to pursue.

According to the author, high school and college graduates are being given the wrong kind of advice when they are told to follow their passion.  He said that it’s “feeding into some destructive tendencies that new graduates should be trying to overcome.”

According to this author, “The follow-your-passion message is self-centered – just the wrong message to beam to a population that already tends to be too self-indulgent. The follow-your-passion message is that what matters is your own satisfaction, not serving the needs of the community.”

He also went on to say that following your dream is narcissistic and that students shouldn’t waste years pursuing theirs.  He said that they should accept what they are offered and not try to pursue the arts because we have all the artists and dancers that we need.

What a sad commentary.  It’s that kind of thinking that stifles creativity.  Perhaps he doesn’t realize that one of the areas where creativity is important, is in the medical field,  Would Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen ever have discovered the X-ray if he had accepted a job as a sales clerk in a shoe store?

Would Einstein’s theory of relativity or Newton’s law of gravity ever have come to light if this author had been born in those days?

And since we have enough artists, I wonder if da Vinci and Michelangelo would ever have created their masterpieces if they had been told that following their passion was self-indulgent and narcissistic.

Advice like this author is giving is a surefire way to kill the best part of humanity.  If everyone took his words to heart, we would have a society made up of people who gave up their dreams to screw light bulbs into the domes of cars on an assembly line.

This author’s words might have been more palatable if he had advised high school and college graduates to find a way to support themselves financially, while they are finding a way to follow their passion.  If he hadn’t made following their passion and putting a roof over their head and food on the table mutually exclusive, his advice might have gone down a little better.

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