Mary Grupp | October 15, 2014
Today, I spilled coffee on my comforter, and I got a C+ on my philosophy paper. Not okay. After washing out the comforter in the sink and throwing it in the dryer, it’s as good as new. My GPA, however, is not exactly where I would like it to be. After some much-needed lamenting with my fellow honors program members about our sub-par grades, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. A line from Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie popped into my head: “What’s wrong with being number two?” (Or number 17? Or number 23,798?) The answer is absolutely nothing.
I decided to listen to the cheesiest showtunes I could find and be content with the fact that I’m less than perfect. I may not be able to philosophize like Socrates, but I can write a successful research paper. I may trip more often than a toddler learning how to walk, but I have pretty awesome taste in clothes (so at least I look good when I fall flat on my face).
After my very necessary self-motivational speech, I came across an article on Facebook that was Mike Rowe’s argument against the phrase “follow your passion.” His reasoning was that “passion,” or rather enjoyment, should not be your only motivation to get you through life. People need to be exposed to as many different experiences as possible in order to become the best, most well-rounded people they can be. He said, “Passion is too important to be without, but too fickle to be guided by.” You could be the world’s greatest flautist, but how would you know if you never picked up a flute? His last piece of advice was, “Don’t follow your passion, but always bring it with you.” That line really struck me. We should be passionate and zealous about everything we do. In all that we do, we should be doing it with everything we have. Do it with passion or not at all.
So, I accept my C+, and I’ve dedicated myself to the cause of bringing my passion with me in all of my endeavors. Just like my coffee stained comforter, it all comes out in the wash.