A common refrain in advice to young people—and increasingly to retirees— is to “follow your passion.” I may have said it myself. It seems like such wise, sound advice until the search for the passion begins. “What IS my passion?” That’s the question that may have no answer. And, the admonition seems to hide a reproach: “If no one ‘thing’ drives you, you are somehow lacking, somehow less of a person than others who possess that singular motivator.”
On occasion, and this morning is one such occasion, I take the opposing view. People who have fleeting (or even permanent) “passions” for many things are no less than those with singular drivers. In fact, they may be more connected with the real world than those who focus so intently on one thing that satisfies their search for something that matters.
Does this thought attempt to shield me from the barbs of the admonition? If it does, so be it; regardless of its possibly selfish motive, I believe it.