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
Dear Frito Lay,
I recently purchased one of your 99 cent bags of Nacho Doritos. Imagine my surprise when I opened the bag and discovered it to be less than 1/3 full. Really, Frito Lay? Really? What in the hell is going on? You fill the bag with air to give it the impression of being full. I understand the necessity from your warped and evil corporate world view. No one in their right mind would pay for an empty bag of chips. But that is exactly what we’re getting. I know that chip companies have been employing this shady tactic for some time, but this doesn’t make it right.
I know times are tough and the economy is shit. But you can’t tell me that your product costs so much to manufacture that you have to cut portions and raise costs to make a profit. That’s just greedy. That’s just you wanting to take every last cent from the John Q. Publics that devour your unhealthy chemically concocted chips. Is it really that necessary to rob good, honest people of what little money remains to them?
Honestly, your products aren’t all that great. And to pay 99 cents for what amounts to a 25 cent bag of chips is more than a little infuriating. It’s deplorable. I won’t bother asking how you sleep at night because I know: on your king-sized mattresses stuffed with the profits of your ill-gotten gains. All the while wallowing in Cool Ranch and Extreme Nacho crumbs and relaxing to the aromatic therapy of a Buffalo and Bleu Cheese scented candle. Yeah, Frito Lay, that’s how you roll, alright. And that’s fine. We still live in America and you still have the freedom to roll any way you want. But I won’t be rolling with your cadre of thieves and marketing con artists. Keep your overpriced bags of air. I won’t be buying them any more.
Ah, the Tao te Ching. Such a poetic and lovely piece of literature. So simple, yet infinitely complex. I’m partial to the Stephen Mitchell translation. It inspired me very early on in my Search and I attribute a lot of my “Enlightening Up” to the understandings it revealed to me. I hope it can offer some inspiration for you as well. Enjoy!
“Fame or integrity: Which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?
If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If you happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.” —-The Tao Te Ching. 44
Remember way back in 2008 when America had “The Great Recession” (which was really another Great Depression just with a nicer name) and the government bailed out rich people and their corporations and cut the rest of us loose to sink or swim? Yeah, we’ve been steadily sinking since then. Now, a whole four years into the future it seems the Metatron of our benevolent leaders (the Media) has decided to remind us of that. The Huffington Post writes this:
I can’t believe it’s taken the Media so long to figure this out! I thought this was apparent from the first bailout when they bailed out the banks and the rich assholes instead of the American people. You remember don’t you? All those banks and rich assholes gave themselves billions of bailout dollars in bonuses? Don’t remember that? Here, let me jog your memory.
Oh that’s right! A huge majority of that taxpayer money our government gave the “too big to fail” corporations went right into their executives’ pockets. Meanwhile, more and more working class Americans are ending up in tent cities.
Tent cities. The future of America! Free rent, natural living and outdoor pooping!
Here’s a breakdown of the equation as I understand it.
Government + Taxpayer money = “Too Big To Fail” bailout = Big Banks and Corporations + Executive (read RICH) bonuses
On the other end of that we have the equation:
Bailout + Richest 1% = Superfluous Economic Growth (Rich get richer)
Bailout – American People – Basic Necessities = Tent Cities = Economy – Middle Class
How is this not pissing anyone off?