In an age where my peers make life decisions on the basis of pressure from parents and friends, passion is all but nonexistent. “Love” towards an activity or pastime means nothing. What’s more important these days is how said activity “looks on college applications”.
We force ourselves into doing things that we shouldn’t because of our obsession with so-called logic and reason. People seem to believe that suffering needlessly under an unenjoyable activity can enable them to be better individuals. I am not trying to argue that we must only engage in activities that we enjoy, but rather that we must make more decisions based on our love for something, rather than the facts and pressures behind it.
Potential is an idea closely linked to love for something, and our potential is wasted when we don’t approach an idea with passion. Sometimes we assume that if something does not come easily to us right away, it never will. Potential means what we can physically or mentally accomplish: it is our maximum limit. However, for almost all humans, at least some of our potential remains untapped. This can be for many reasons. Pressure from society can influence people to make decisions on their futures based on what others think. Low self-confidence can prevent one from taking initiative. However, despite these obstacles, perhaps the most crippling is that of laziness or mental lethargy. If one is unwilling to love and nurture their talent, it will ultimately go nowhere.
People also tend to miss opportunities because of their need for straight-forward decisions. Passion is not straightforward. It cannot be defined. The word itself is a rebellion against the confines of logic and reason. It is, purely, an emotion – one that must play a part, however small, in every decision one makes. With passion, one can discover a hidden love and apply it to the rest of his or her life. A passion affects all aspects of someone’s life, and it has the ability to motivate and inspire. Just because it cannot be so easily quantified does not make it any less valuable; in fact, its elusive nature makes it more precious. However, passion’s nature also creates pressure on individuals in society who explore it.
Perhaps, as inhabitants of this Earth, we have a responsibility to humankind. It is often quoted that “with great power comes great responsibility,” and that is true for talent as well. Upon acquisition or discovery of a skill, pressure is suddenly thrust upon us. We are suddenly expected to perform and to share our gift with the world. However, when does this cross the line? When does this expectation of humanity transform our passions into chores? We, of course, owe it to fellow humans to share our ideas and gifts, but not if doing so will rob us of our love of said ideas. Here, the line between reason and passion is very fine. I believe that we should not allow others to take away from our own love for something, but fear of pressure should not limit our advancements.
It is disheartening to observe all those who never use their full potential and instead put it to waste. It is a misrepresentation of not only humanity, but those who never have and never will have access to the same opportunities to which we do. Our purpose in this world is to find what motivates us and work hard at it: we have an obligation to the less fortunate to explore all of our potential opportunities. We owe it to those who are not as blessed.
Without a love for something, life becomes meaningless and robotic. If we approach every aspect of our lives with passion, not only the areas in which we excel, I believe we can be a happier, more determined generation.