``.......When you say that our culture is robbing us (perhaps) of our enthusiasm, I`ll counter with the growing ideology of victimhood. Modern western culture seems to be increasingly based on a belief that someone else should take care of us, watch out for us, and act like benevolent parents of some sort. That`s a sure pathway to political dictatorships, socialism, totalitarianism, and so forth. ``
****** History tells a different story, that the above is a myth and that America was built on public initiatives that had a strong benevolent aspect in mind, for everybody?
****** The facts for many in Western countries is totalitarianism. Are people that `free`? Many people e.g. are trapped in soulless, workplaces. One could go on and on. The millions who take mind changing substances legal or illegal on a regular basis. I read a book about a doctor who really was horrified to find that 1/4 of the adult population in his mid-sized city were on anti-depressants, which is only one type of mind changing chemical, who because of that and a failed romance was propelled on his own voyage of discovery. What about dumbed down media who peddle lies, thus denying us the resources to make informed decisions, because we`re too tired or too busy to check further on matters. etc, etc.
`` One way to go through life is to stand and say, "This is what I`m going to do. If anyone else wants to come along, that`s up to them." ``
**** That speaks of another myth: I can make of myself completely on my own. We don`t live in a vacuum. One couldn`t succeed in life, one never has and never will without the help of individuals, or some benevolent government policy of the country where that person resides. In fact both are needed.
`` Another way to go through life is to sit and say, "When someone tells me what to do, I`ll go out and try to do it."
Nobody is going to force someone to find their passion. Nor will they force someone to look really, really hard for that passion. In fact, nobody really cares. The world goes on about its business, and generally has little interest in particular people, unless they stand out in some way. Is that fair? Nope. ``
****Maybe not if `they stand out in some way` but if `they stand in the way`. History tells us that too.
`` Finding one`s passion is directly associated with taking charge of one`s destiny. Throughout history there have been countless times where it`s been almost impossible to take charge like that. One terribly poignant example was during the burning of the World Trade Towers. Some people chose to jump to their deaths because at least it was they making the choice, not the terrorists killing them.
Wars, concentration camps, slavery---all these have been environments where it was extremely hard to take charge of one`s life in a joyful, successful way. Yet even in those kids of situations, people became passionate about an ideal of some type. ``
`` You don`t have to manage your own life. Nor do you have to even believe you have a destiny. The most fundamental principle of American thought is that "all men (i.e., human beings) are born free." That means free to think, and to act upon that thought. American political philosophy is organized around the additional freedom to *own* the results of that personal thinking (i.e., capitalism). ``
`` Life is filled with obstacles, making it quite easy to become disappointed and to lose enthusiasm. That`s the whole point of finding a passion! A passion, similar to an obsession, is such a powerful driver and motivator, it almost "forces" us to continue on a pathway, regardless of the obstacles, hurdles, disappointments, losses, and all other setbacks.
One of the arguments people have about passion is that it appears, on the surface, to make someone heartless and unsympathetic to "others." How many stories have a plot situation where during a tremendous quest-journey, important characters a badly injured and left behind? In those situations, people have to make perhaps the most difficult of all human choices: continue by abandoning someone, or remain with the injured and die.
Passion is one of the foundations of what have become known as "ethical dilemmas." So a very interesting question becomes whether or not passionate people are indeed heartless. I say that no, they`re not. ``
***I guess it`s what`s in the heart, that matters.