December 4 – Work and Passion – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
I remember when in college, many of us were herded into teaching because there seemed a need in the job force. But by the time we graduated, teaching jobs were scarce. The same thing happened fifteen years later when I was teaching college. Many of my students were herded into the study of business. But a few years after graduating, there were very few jobs.
This is another way that scarcity can direct our lives. Often when we shape our interests around what others need, we wind up selling our chance at happiness for what we think will be secure. But while supply and demand may work on paper, it can build a loveless life in the world.
This is why finding what we love, though it may take years, is building a life of passion. For what makes you come alive can keep you alive, whether you are paid well for it or not. And beyond the fashion of the job market, a life of passion makes us a healthy cell in the body of the world.