You don’t need passion to cause social change

At first, I thought it was more Generation Y navel gazing. But having come across a couple of articles questioning where is the passion in the lives of Millennials, I thought it was time to say something.

So many people spend their adult lives looking for that “one thing” that causes them to light up. The one thing that makes them jump out of bed in the morning. That one passion that we are all supposed to find and pursue.

This sounds great until you realize that we are human: multifaceted beings with the ability to discern among the many choices available. Trying to find that one passion in life is like looking for your soulmate: it might be out there, but while you are looking for this supposed ideal, what else are you missing? It’s perfectly acceptable to “date” other interests; why should you commit to just one?

Passion feels great but it is neither necessary nor sufficient for good things to be done. What matters is follow through rather than a strong emotional attachment to the work you are doing. I really like working in public health, but I am interested in other topics such as quality education and empowerment of women that I support. My lack of passion for a particular cause does not diminish my ability to do good.

If that one passion is what drives your work, what happens when the thrill is gone and it fades? You can look at the baby boomers and see how their passion for free love for the world has primarily turned into love of money.

Having a lot of choices is a good thing. The decision paralysis causes us to evaluate our priorities which in turn stirs us to action. After all, the actions matter the most.


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