Do you guys think the world would be a better place if more people could follow their passions?
I think that it would be a sign of a better place if more people could follow their passions without hurting other people or neglecting the necessities that rarely anybody does get passionate about.
Turn it the other way around, though, and it doesn't always work.
If everybody did what they wanted in the sort of society that we've set up
, though, I think the fear is that the world will be a horrible, horrible place because passion is not structure; following passion doesn't ensure that anybody will do anything properly.
That might be a false, constructed, projected reality or self-fulfilling prophecy...but the one who would follow that passion can't prove naysayers wrong without the naysayers' cooperation, which, of course, never comes because they're naysayers.
The sad fact is, money is an object. I left a financially supportive and morally unsupportive family to live the way I do. When I first struck out, I'd go for days without eating and be too weak to write. I can't even say that it's passion that got me through. It was luck! It was taking odd jobs that paid me to do something other than what I'd rather be doing (because I'd definitely not
rather starve to death and leave a corpse that other people would rightfully say was given so many opportunities and returned nothing to society). I was passionate about having a place to sleep at night that was safe from weather and muggers! I can't just do that and get
paid for that, no, I pay for that privilege by doing something else, and that something else isn't always going to be another one of my passions.
I had friends who lent me money until that ruined the friendship in two months flat because they
had to suck it up and do the soul-sucking job to support this freeloading Bohemian.
I eventually got enough success to pay them back, eventually getting jobs that I actually liked, but I must have done some sort of harm if they stopped believing in me--if something else happened to prove that I wasn't worth it. An uncomfortable conversation with a landlord, a missed meal, something that they wanted to buy but couldn't because I'd taken their money. Something must have happened to them while I was following my passion, and I hate myself for doing that to them.
Definitely, now that I'm mildly-to-moderately successful, it's about more than paying back the people who bore with me while I got here. There are people in my life who have a murderous resentment that I should have the temerity to do all that to someone else, leave it behind the both of us, and continue on happily when they're still taking soul-sucking jobs. I tell myself that it's their problem if they're jealous, but the perceived hostility and vitriol still hurts my feelings, you know? It does give me guilt and shame. Not enough that I'd go back to trying to fit in, but it's not not
there. I want to be kind and not inconvenience people. This was a hard choice and I can't justify that, I can only ignore it or stay with it.
So is the world a better place when people follow their passions? It depends who.