Upon arriving home from Taiwan, I’ve made one thing lucidly clear to myself: I like spending my time with people that inspire me. Conversations that dive past the heyhowareyou’s and the didyouseekanyeonmtv’s and the lykeomgwhatisshewearing’s.
Instead, I like to fill my time with conversations of the “How are you, really?” and the “What do you think about X” and the “Where are you going with your life” variety.
In short: I’ve discovered I want to spend my time with people who want to change the world, and are willing to do something about it.
I’ve also realized something else. Not everyone shares my sentiments.
Off the bat, let me say, That’s Okay. Not everyone is meant to change the world, and maybe I’m being just a bit too headstrong in wanting to put myself in that group (I don’t think I am).
If you disagree, maybe it’s in our definition of “World Change”.
To me, Changing the World doesn’t have to mean starting a revolution and usurping the respected order of control… though it can.
To me, Changing the World can be simply following what you’re passionate about, finding the one thing that makes you tick, and using that to serve others.
But here’s the secret that doesn’t get out too much: You have to find what you’re passionate for.
A friend in the blogosphere (and a guy I look up to greatly) gets this. His name is Adam Baker and he started manvsdebt.com. He’s a man of passion, but he’s constantly honing in on what he’s passionate about. His site started off being passionately against debt. Though that hasn’t changed, Baker has redirected his focus to being passionately FOR life.
Recently, he got my wheels turning with his post “The ‘Sh**-that-doesn’t-inspire-you’ factor“. When I read this entry, I realized something:
We’ve misplaced our passions.
In the post, Baker encourages readers to ask “Does this inspire me?” in our daily decision making. Why? Because we’ve programmed ourselves to do just the opposite.
We’ve filled our time and thoughts with such mundane triffle that we’ve forgotten what makes us tick – whatever that is for each of us. We’ve chosen to do mere nothings over filling our time intentionally. It’s as if Nothing has become a way of life.
In his satire The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis pens:
“Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.”
I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life, and realize I finger-drummed my way out of an existence. It’s a good thing I’m discovering this now, because I do an awful lot of finger-drumming.
As Baker’s post encouraged me to reconsider my passions in my day-to-day choices, and I’ve continued reflecting on my journey home, I realized how energized I am to be around passion-filled people. It’s the kind of passion I found at The Refuge in Taiwan, and it’s the precise type of community I hope to cultivate here.
“Drumming of Fingers” aside, I know that a life worth living is an intentional one. And I happen to believe being surrounded by other equally-passion-filled people with an unquenchable desire to Change the World makes that life all the more worth it.
I’ve talked a bit of Intentional Community here on the Drift, and I hope to cultivate that here back home in the States (who’s with me?). I love the different online communities I’ve lived among for the last year, but look forward even more to spending some face time with my friends.
[Photo found here through Flickr’s Creative Commons]