When I was little I wanted to be a firefighter, something my mother explained to me would be very dangerous, and while not discouraging it directly, made it clear would not be her first choice of carrer track for me. We had a house fire when I was a kid and I thought the actions of those strangers going into our house and saving our cats and putting out the fire was nothing less than heroic.
I think in a way I idolized those strangers who were saving our home, but for them it was just another day at the office. I think you have to have a lot of passion for a job like that, risking your life to save others and trying to extinguish the flames before they consume the lives and possessions of strangers. I think this can be said of any people who have a job serving the public in emergency situations.
What about roles where the people aren’t saving lives, or changing the world… is there passion behind their performance as well. If there isn’t, why do it? Is there such a need to have the safety of a full-time position – does the kid stocking the shelved take pride in or have passion for stocking shelves in a grocery store? Does the guy cleaning up the cigarette butts in front of the office building take pride in his job?
I’m going to argue that it doesn’t matter what we do so long as we have passion for our work. Maybe the store clerk has a moment of satisfaction as he stands back and looks at all of his perfectly spaced, identically rotated, neatly stacked canned or dried goods. Maybe the guy picking up cigarette butts appreciates the clean entrance to the building and derives satisfaction from his work.
I can’t say that I’m always passionate about the work that I do, nor can I say that others are passionate about the work they do either, but I hope that no matter the endeavor, whether work related, volunteering, or a hobby you may have that there is something in you’re passionate about. I think a life lived without feeling true passion about things is a life devoid of that ordinary magic I so frequently look for in life.