I grew up with a serious mother, which isn’t to say she was, or is today, unable to laugh, to have fun, to be goofy or to love, but she was, and continues on today to be, serious.
She’s a realist.
The pain of the world, the state of our country, the atrocities of our human past (things such as the Holocaust and slavery) made her, and continue to make her, weary for what’s to come: what her life will bring, what the lives of those she loves will turn into, where the world will be when she’s 70 or 80, or if there’ll even be a world come then.
I’ve never shared my mom’s realist sympathies.
Don’t mistake that to mean that serious issues such as politics, global warming, or the state of third world countries don’t matter to me, but they’ve never weighed on me the way they have my mother. I’ve always seen the good sitting past them in a way I would liken to a child looking outward–which suits me because I’m a kid at heart. I draw, I write, I play music, I play video games, I watch cartoons, I want to create, I want to imagine–and I want to believe that dreams are things that do come true as long as we continue believing in them. I’ve never grown out of those things, not because they are something I need to hold onto, that I’m a “Peter Pan” vowing to never grow up, but because of what they remind me of me, what they inspire me to do, and what they will allow me to be one day: an artist, an author, a creator of some sort, and an infinite number of other things.
As a result of what those interests have contributed to my life, they have become deep passions of mine. They drive me to want things out of life. They make me happy. They allow me the fuel to dig deeper into the creative recesses of my mind so that I may one day pull something great out. And though my mom and I think differently, though we often disagree, passion is something I inherited from her–it’s something we both share.
That’s something I love about people and is something I love that I have in myself: passion. Passion for something, no matter what it is is important. Having something that drives you, having something you are striving for and doing, not because it is what is right in front of you (like a dead-end job you hate), but because it is something you love is probably one of the most important things you could have in your life, which is why as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve met people and reconnected with people I once knew, one of the most frustrating things I’ve seen is a lack of passion for anything.
That’s one of the greatest flaws of our generation. We have some of the greatest resources at our fingertips. We are in a golden age of technology and science and so many other things, but so many people don’t care. Not that they should care or have to care about those things in particular, but they should, I think, care about something–that or become 45 and be left wondering what they’ve done with life.
It’s important. It’s what gives us Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen King. It’s what provides the drive for something more, something better, something more colorful, more well-realized in a world that, without it, would be bland.
Love things. Pursue things. Want things, no matter what it is. Life is too short to twiddle our thumbs to the incessant rhythm of the samey-same and mediocrity.