While I was still pondering on passion, Otto posted another thought-provoking article Finding Purpose. By the way, if you are interested in these subjects like I do, I highly recommend you go read Otto’s articles… on second thought, even if you are not interested in these subject, you may still want to go take a look. I’ve printed them out and plan to read again and again.
Before I continue, I want to thank everyone who has commented on part one of this article. Life is more complicated than my little brain could comprehend. Before I started writing this, I thought I had everything figured out. Your comments brought me some new knowledge, and, believe it or not, I have made some necessary changes (for better) because of that. THANK YOU!
There was something about me that not many people knew: finding purpose (of life) was important for me since I was very young. I remember telling one of my junior high school classmates that I knew there was a purpose of my life, but I had no idea what it was. She rolled her eyes. That was when I realized that not everyone had thought about his purpose of life (particularly at that age). Several years later, I asked my high school teacher what the purpose of life was. As a shy Chinese girl who, most of the time, kept a distance from her teachers, asking my teacher such a philosophical question showed how desperately I was at the time. Many years later when I was a computer programmer, one day, I asked my officemate what purpose of life was and he almost fell off his chair.
Otto’s two articles gave me a lot to think about. It finally dawn on me that passion alone couldn’t sustain (Using Perpetua’s words: passion is a fleeting thing. Thanks, Perpetua. 😉 I wasn’t as happy as I thought I would be when a reader told me she liked my book because publishing a book was a goal and the moment I reached that goal, I was done with it and ready to move on. Even though all the profit from selling the book was donated to the food bank (this could be used as a purpose for writing the book), the idea of donating money was an afterthought. It was my passion (in writing) helped me to set and reach that goal and when the goal was reached, my passion seemed considering its job was done and inched to the background.
But, does it still exist?
Otto (and his friend) recently has several posts on his Ethiopia trip, which you can find it at Untold Stories. Those stories had made some impact on me that I don’t know how to describe. I’m grateful for what they had done, but, at the same time, I knew I wasn’t brave enough to do things like that. I was also very touched by Randall’s story The Endurance of Tacloban: Heart of the Philippines. I could feel Randall’s caring and warmness toward those people. In my own photographing experience, my happiest moment was the time I took photos of the lady at a Chinese grocery store and later gave the photos to her. I can still hear her giggling and I remember how happy I was because my photos had made her day.
Suddenly I realized that all these stories were powerful for me because they turned people’s suffering into hope with human (our) compassion.
Maybe… passion is a word that carries too much weight for me. It’s easier to think things I like to do.
My aha-moment came when I’ve reached to a conclusion that it’s not that I don’t like writing or photographing anymore; it is that now I want to do it with a purpose. The result that I am hungry for can only come from reaching out to people and do things benefit them. As an introvert, I know this is not going to be easy.
I feel better now 😉