“Follow Your Passion” – a cold and broken hallelujah…

Just read a wonderful blog this morning – it crystalizes what I’ve been struggling with in giving advice to my grown daughters – one about to head to grad school to – OMG! – follow her passion!  The other 1/2 way through law school, and just realizing that public defender work (her passion) won’t bring her happiness if the student loan debt collectors are barking outside her door.  I feel very proud of my soon to be lawyer daughter that she has “measured” her passion quest.  I feel very sad that I don’t jump with glee as my undecided grad school applicant insists on following passionate social service work.  I edge her into corporate.  I edge her into political.  I start to tell her what bills look like – what is a mortgage?  “How much is the electric bill, ” she asks?  And I feel very sad about the temperance that I feel responsible to give out.  It is, to be very cliche-ish, a ‘whole new world’ and it won’t fix itself in a generation.  You can’t simply rely on the political system – insert another OMG! – to straighten out our economy, our planet, our challenges so that finding happiness can simply be found in doing good work.  No, we will be living with this for all of my time, for all of my children’s time, and probably for all of my grandchildren-yet-to-be-born’s time…  For many of us with children about to enter the world, we are baby boomers, we are pie in the sky, day dreamers.  We are vision chasers and dream catchers.  Have you noticed that advice of “follow your dream, honey” sticks in your throat?  It doesn’t come out with joy and a hug?  You wonder if the advice is correct?  You hear what I call “the positives” out there, urging this type of la-la-la advice.  I can’t buy into it anymore.  I’m glad I had almost a lifetime to live my passion.  But now my advice is tempered, it is practical, and I believe it it more responsible.  If I have learned one thing it is to focus outward.  Stand behind and lead by guiding and resourcing, by building and constructing.  And in success of a cause or an individual, I find my happiness.  So, this is the fuller advice I believe we must give our children.  No, you can’t live a life now painting in a little studio, and working some part time jobs to ‘get buy’.  You will have rent or a mortgage that will strangle you.  Healthcare costs that are real and necessary, however outrageous.  You will grow up to be parents, yourselves, some day, and ladies – you must be good mothers.  And that means being responsible mothers.  Mothers with two pennies to scrape together so your children just may live more of their passion than you are able to do now.  And I can tell you that in that giving, in that providing, you will find your happiness.  Deep down in your soul.  So, please take a moment and read the blog I found this morning – the one I will copy and paste and send to my daughters – the one we’ll talk about tomorrow night when we eat together.  I can give this advice!  I can say it with joy and gusto.  In my heart, and in my reflection I mourn for the broken hallelujah we are living…but happiness is still within our reach…  Oliver Segovia says, “Happiness comes from the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, and what the world needs.”  I’m going with it.

To Find Happiness, Forget About Passion


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