Tonight I was walking into the corner store and sitting outside was a man smoking cigarettes and asking for change. Usually, I decline them, but tonight something moved me. When the man asked if I could spare any change I said, “Sure. I’ll give you all the change I have if you tell me something.”
He said, “What do you want to know?”
“What’s your passion?”
He looked at me quizzically and said, “What does that mean?”
“What fills your heart? What drives you onward?”
Without hesitation he answered, “Love, brother.”
As I was giving him my change, I asked him one final question. “What have you been doing to pursue that lately?”
He shook his head sadly and looked away. “Hell. I don’t even know anymore, man.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I have a list of passions that fill my heart. But when I ask myself what I’ve been doing to pursue them, I have to admit to myself, “Hell. I don’t even know anymore man.” And why don’t I know? Why have I given up on all these things that add meaning to my life? I suppose for the same reasons most people do. Because we let life get in the way. We tell ourselves, “I’ll start on it tomorrow.” The only problem with that is Tomorrow never comes. It always turns into Today. And it’s always so hard to find the time today; there’s too much to do.
But what is passion? What does it mean? Ultimately, our passion is what we were put on earth to accomplish. What we individually do to make and leave the world a better place. But that has been distorted and confused. We live in a world where passion has been mistaken for emotional outbursts. Look at reality television. It’s nothing but cheap emotional manipulation saturated with advertisements. The same can be said for social media outlets. Every time I scroll through a feed I go through a range of emotions. This post makes me angry. This post makes me laugh. This post tugs at my heart-strings. This post wants me to buy a new razor. And on and on. These things aren’t passions they are sleazy emotional ploys. We shouldn’t be filling our heart with them. They give our lives no meaning. In fact, they only take from us. By the time I get to the bottom of the feed, I feel empty. I usually slam my computer shut in disgust and tell myself, “Way to go, genius, you just wasted another 20 minutes of your life.” So what’s the alternative? The answer to that is easy: force a change. If you know better, do better.
We let ourselves become convinced that happiness is this false sense of security called the American Dream and we’ve sacrificed our passions on the altar of this great god called Mammon. We’ve been conditioned all our lives to believe that if we do everything according to plan, go to school, get a job, make money, get a house, fill it with shit, then we are supposed to be happy. But that’s not the case. I see more and more people unhappy with their supposed achievements. But this doesn’t necessarily mean more and more people are realizing what they need to be doing is following their passion. Too many of us are immersing ourselves in an ever-expanding myriad of distractions in order to ignore the fact that we’re miserable and unfulfilled. We are all guilty of it. We can’t really blame ourselves too much, I mean, it IS the world we were born into. But it’s not the world that we have to live in. It’s not the world that we have to leave to our children.
Things are how they are because we’ve been fooled into accepting a fiction as reality. We CAN change. We CAN refuse to accept the lie and start living in truth. But in order to do that we have to start TODAY. Are you ready? If so:
What’s your passion?
And what have you done to pursue it lately?
Tags: America, American Dream, career, change, choices, Dream, emotional, emotions, fulfillment, happiness, heart, homeless, inspiration, job, life, love, materialism, money, passion, reality television, social media, today, truth, world, Writing
It breaks my heart to report this. It is a true tragedy. Last night, the American Dream was found dead in a back alley in Studio City, California. He had sustained multiple gunshot and stab wounds and was covered in what appeared to be Monopoly money. “ Why Studio City?”, was the first question that needed answering.
Apparently, the American Dream had been on the lam there since 1972 and had been working undercover on the Price is Right. He was the guy responsible for securing all those nifty prizes at rock bottom (read FREE) prices. Not an easy job for a manifestation born of hard work, determination and inspiration. In just three years after his work on the show, The disillusioned American Dream began a decent into depravity that he chronicled in a journal uncovered at his dingy one bedroom apartment. Here are a few excerpts:
“After I lost everything in the first stock market crash, I thought I’d never forgive myself. Then I got my first credit card. I haven’t forgiven myself since.”
“The 80’s were a blur. Barker’s Beauties, cocaine, alcohol and the Bohemian Grove all mixed together into this drug addled excitement. I came back to my senses at a bar in Tijuana, Mexico in 1994. I should’ve stayed.”
“Walked out of a bar with Bob [Barker] tonight. Saw some dude walking his dog. He didn’t have the mutt neutered. Bob snapped. Last I heard the poor schmuck was still in the hospital. Remember folks, spay and neuter your pets or Bob will bash your face in!”
“I’m being watched. The banks and credit card companies have been on to my location for 10 years now. Bastards stole all my gold and now they want my cash. Yesterday, I saw a credit card goon across the street from the studio. People said he was asking about me. Said it concerned a ‘personal business matter that required my prompt attention’. I’m gonna start carrying a knife.”
The above entry was the final one in the American Dream’s journal. The next night, he was found murdered in an alley. Police are baffled as to why his corpse was covered with Monopoly money. At this time, there is no suspected connection to the Parker Brothers organized crime family.
And I’m not just saying that because Rich Uncle Pennybags is standing next to me with a menacing blunt object. Really I’m not.
The American Dream is survived by his ailing Uncle Sam and all the women he loved before. As well as his 300,000,000 some-odd children whose only inheritance is an insurmountable mountain of debt.
Goodbye, American Dream, you will be missed.
I was talking with a good friend last night. We were discussing the American Dream. Back in the day, the American Dream is what people worked to achieve. The well-paying job they’d never lose, nice house, car, etc. is what motivated Americans to thrive. We became the greatest superpower in modern history because of it. The American Dream inspired and motivated people to create and push ever forward. It is what attracted the best and brightest from around the world. The American Dream was what made America a shining beacon.
But the American Dream was illusory or at best, temporary. Now that the bottom has fallen out from under our old motivation, what’s left? What drives America now? What keeps us inspired and motivated? What instills that need to create and achieve? The need for iThings and big T.V’s? The desire to sign your life over to your choice of corporation or government institution? Maybe our motivation lies in an overwhelming desire to sink into debt?
And the answer is…nothing. There is literally nothing pure left to motivate us.
And that, friends, is why I’m living for a Renaissance.
To Whom It May Concern:
This is why you can’t forget. This is the reason that you can’t disconnect. This is the reason there are silent phone calls from lonely hands desperately clinging to the receiver, determined not to miss a single uttered syllable.
This is the reason there are those cliché chance meetings of old memories in cute places like mall parking lots.
This is the reason that desire is ensnared by trembling lips (oh how it wishes to be set free, to become substantial. It waits impatiently to express itself as a timid confession, or an illusionary caress trapped between fantasy and reality. [You want it to be real so bad you can taste it. We all can.] )
This is the reason you tremble. Your body’s soft tremors explode upon you as the titillating crescendo of hellish pleasure confiscates your starving nerve endings and makes them its own.
This is what intrigues you to the point of insanity. You want to know so bad—to be a part of it—to become a part of it. This is your channel to the chaos of life, of existence outside the American Dream. This is the spirit of Lord Byron, of Jack Kerouac, of Shakespeare.
These are emotions we can’t control. These are the tsunamis of Fortune crashing over us while we atone ourselves with a constant flow of sacrificial tears.
This is a fact: “They say that if your pupils are dilated when you are talking to somebody it means you are attracted to them.” See what happens when angels whisper the secrets of God into the ears of sleeping men? Now we spend all of our time gazing into the eyes of the potential authors of our epic love story (searching for a great cavern of endless black hope).
This is a timid confession: When you look into my eyes, it feels like you are trying to break through the shallow surface and journey farther down the rarely-trodden paths that lead to those places where the most tender perceptions lie . Sometimes I wonder if you are trying to explore the barriers of my soul in hopes of discovering that tiny infraction, that one open spot that will allow you to enter triumphantly. What then? Would you explore all that you saw? Gracious God forgive us, we have sinned. This is just an issue, an unexpected pleasure brought to us by Fate (sweet blessings upon her, whoever she is).
These are the scenes from the life of a screaming god. I would wake up but this has become all that is real to me. What am I going to do? Am I Cursed? Sometimes it feels like a hopeless burden ( or an exquisite torture). Yes I cry. But who doesn’t cry because beauty always lies? Change your mind. Do it. If it were that easy it wouldn’t be worth it. So I remain unrated, hopelessly fated, never jaded, and elegantly understated. I don’t know what to do. For when I dream now, there are things like sitting on fallen trees in sunlit woods and laughing about the notion of it and smiles that cover faces like murals of joy.
That is what this is. If it were a color it would be all of them at once. If it were a hologram of Shakespeare it would flirt with your muse. If it were the Penguin King it would commit suicide (sadly, some cannot cope with universal shifting. The burden of Chaos becomes too much for them). If it were Buddha it would be going home. And if it were jack shit, more people would know it.