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Do What You Love - On Your Own Time

Often I am reproached by friends saying, "Blaine, why are you wasting your time doing these out-of-the-way jobs? You're so good with people." And to this I often reply, "Just because I happen to be good with people doesn't mean I want to interact with them professionally."

"You're right on one level," I say. "I am good with people, but that's only due to the fact that I like genuinely like people. I like them a good deal, it's true."

And to that thought, I would add, "There's no better way of killing an affinity than having to pursue it for money or duty. If I like people now, I am sure to be rid of that weakness in just a few months of having to be nice to them on penalty of poverty and professional ruin. And, to top it off for you, should I cease to like people and enjoy their company, I would also cease to be very good with them, as my talent lies with my affinity."

"To be sure," I add, "no one should do the thing they love as a job. It's the world's biggest lie. Do you love to cook? You do, don't you? Well, by God, don't open a restaurant, for Christ's sake. Soon, food and its matter of preparation will become base means of survival; why the very sight of people eating is bound to make you sick to your own stomach in a matter of years."

"Do you love money? Well, God love you if you do, but don't go into finance, for you will see the waste that money brings and the offal that it buys. If you love money, you should buy a restaurant."

"People in this country are confused. They are unhappy because they do what they love and soon cease to love at all, or they do something that they do not love and regret that they aren't doing what they love."

"There are plenty who claim to do what they love for money. They lie, I believe. Or lack introspection. If you meet a writer who tells how much she loves to write, she is lying. She may love her job, and her job may indeed be writing, but odds are she merely loves being good at her job. Loving your job and loving the fact that you are good at your job are two different beasts. The first beast is love, which cannot survive a job, and the second is vanity, which is not so delicate and will grow to encompass anything, including a profession or love."

"Here's what we should be doing," I say. "We should spend less time trying to make money off of the things we love and devote ourselves, altogther, to achieving a complete paradigm shift, in which the workday is shortened to a good 5-6 hours a day. Then, we could all go home or wherever, and do what we love for free."

That's what I usually say.

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post #436
bio: blaine

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April - National Poetry Month 2008

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