Friday, March 12, 2010


I was talking to a potential funder the other day about the work we do, when I felt his attention shift for what I was saying. Trained to pick up nuances, I stopped and enquired, "Are you with me? Should I go over it again?"
"Sorry", he said. "I was just thinking about how passionate you sound when talking about your organisation."
"But of course I am passionate about what we do", I replied in the tone I reserve for people who are stating the obvious. "If I were not passionate about the work, would I be here?"

To me it was a no-brainer. Why would anyone want to do something if they were not passionate about it? Yes, there are necessary evils like cooking, dusting and laundry that you have to deal with as best as you can. And yes, not everyone has the privelage of choosing to work because they want to, not because they need to, and often have to take a job that pays the most regardless of whether they like it the most. But, given a choice, wouldn't you rather take up a job that you are passionate about than one that means nothing to you?

And it is not just about the job you choose. Given a choice, wouldn't anyone choose to do something they are passionate about than otherwise? If you hate physical exersion, would you take up running as a hobby? If your book of choice is a fluffy romance, would you put yourself through the torture of reading Crime and Punishment, simply because someone decided it is one of the 101 books you should read before you die?

Whether it is choosing a career, or sliding down a mattress that is out of bounds for you - should you do anything unless you are passionate about it? Or is that just me?
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dipali said...

Awesome photograph!
And life without passionate engagement seems totally insipid:(

Ann Elle Altman said...

I have to say I am very fortunate to be able to write full time. I don't have to work any more and can devote more time to my writing.


Anonymous said...

It's a privilege to do things we are passionate about - and we should try to be passionate about the things we do.

Mason Canyon said...

Unfortunately there are people do raise funds and such that really aren't passionate about their cause. It's just a job to them. To me that's sad.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's not just you! I feel the same way.

I can think to the people in our church who volunteer to do something just because they feel they ought to do it, but they aren't passionate to do it. My question - then why do it? (Because sometimes those people can suck the fun out of it for everybody.)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Dipali - it does, doesn't it. And thanks. My favourite subject continues being my kids - but have only recently got over my hesitation in posting picture of them.

@ Ann - to be able to do what you love, isn't that the best thing possible. I am sure others earn more than you, but are they as happy?

@ Fiona - I totally agree with you. I know I am lucky to be able to do what I am passionate about, but even before I had that option, I used to be passionate about whatever I did.

@ Mason - I am a professional fundraiser, and I know that unless I am passionate about what I am doing, how can I convince others to part with their money? It is sad when a job is just a job for people

@ Diane - precisely. Specially when you are volunteering. Much better to just leave that to people who are passionate, unless they really need you to make up the numbers.


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