“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman, Author and Philosopher
I read this quote a while back and loved it. I forgot about it until now, but I have to say–as I consider it once more–this is one of my all-time favorite quotes. It inspires me, justifies me, assures me, comforts me, and liberates me.
Sometimes it weighs on me wondering if I am the only one who cares. Don’t people care about the truth? Don’t people care about the abundance of false information that is detrimental to our health? Don’t people care to live a more authentic lifestyle? Don’t people care that the majority of produce in the grocery store was shipped from out of the country or out of state? Don’t people care about the overreaching regulations of the government?
While I know that there are millions of people out there who do care deeply about the same issues that I care about, I seem to forget when I find myself suddenly in a situation with someone who can’t be bothered about compost or whether or not their diet drink contains a powerful neurotoxin. The FDA deems it “safe,” after all, so why get up in arms about it? I don’t understand why that doesn’t get people riled up. Even supposedly “health-conscious” shoppers seem oblivious to the dangers of soymilk, rapid tofu consumption, and non-fat milk buying. But if you bring it up, they don’t want to hear it. That’s fine. Everyone is on their own journey. Change is hard. I get that. But it really gets to me sometimes.
There are always people who will make your passion fade into the dust and turn your inspiration into anger. It’s no use.
Anything worthwhile will usually be controversial and sometimes fall upon deaf ears. This goes for any passion. A person who chooses to pursue their passion will struggle with this. But I would rather struggle with it than live unpassionately and unaccording to my heart. This is what Howard Thurman was talking about. If the world was full of people pursuing their life’s passions the world would be a far grander place.
We tend to dismiss anything that isn’t common, mainstream, or already widely accepted. Maybe I’ve thought about these things once or twice but they are all distractions from keeping up with the fast pace of life. I care about things such as homeschooling, third party candidates, pro-saturated fat (animal fat), organic food, homesteading, raw milk, homebirths and water births, holistic medicine, anti-flouride, etc. My passion is not so much a new message, but one of return to what is tried and true–a call to enjoy life like a fine meal, in smaller bites.
I strive to deliver my message with love. I try to be understanding of the unique challenges that individuals face, and of how hard it is to change. But the same challenges can open the minds of people who need to hear what you have to say. If I hadn’t had serious health issues that drove me to make changes I might not carry the message that I do. Your message is for people who need to hear it. If some don’t respond to your ideas that must not keep you from fighting the good fight. Be strong, and someday the scoffers will take notice.
People laugh at me for caring about such things so deeply. But I love what I love, and I enjoy the things I enjoy. I will live life passionately and pursue what I love. I will write about these things, share my ideas, thoughts and opinions. People can take what I have to say or leave it, it won’t stop me from boldy proclaiming it. What the rest of the world does and believes will not shake my foundation of truth.
This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday!