On the top ten list of all clichéd mantras, there is a spot of distinction reserved for the adage "find your passion." Since I was old enough to make my own decisions, there was someone somewhere telling me that I should find a school subject, sport or hobby that I was passionate about and stick to that. As I got older, pastimes evolved into noble causes that I should find a special passion for and spend the rest of my life advocating. I have always felt that without a true passion, part of my identity is missing. Without some burning fire that pushes me to fight for some value that I hold above all others, my life somehow holds less worth. This slightly terrifying thought has pushed me to seek a passion almost out of desperation. However, as I tried on different passions for size growing up, I found that none of them captured my heart the way one is supposed to.
No matter how much I cared for a certain cause, there seemed to be someone who was more outspoken, more involved than I was. At first I was disheartened and feared that I would never find something to build my life around, but soon I realized that the entire concept of finding a passion is an empty social construct. We are fed with the belief that unless we are the most vocal, the most noticeable and the most moving, that our voice does not count. We are taught that our passion is only valuable if it is the loudest and most active. However, there is something to be said for the quiet non-passions — the attraction to a subject or hobby or cause that is more subtle. The people who hold these views are the followers who carry the leaders message to a greater community.
They may not be the most knowledgeable or experienced but they offer a new perspective. They come from different backgrounds and have different knowledge and various other passions that can fuel their interest. Just because they are not the best or the most talented or the most well-read, that does not change the value of their contribution. Their desire to pursue not one, but many passions allows them to enrich their communities and give the "textbook passionate" people a platform to lead from.