There's a lot of things everyone is passionate about; school, work, hobbies, it can really be anything. And because we have so much passion for this things, we can tend to take them very seriously; whether that's sitting down for six hours a day studying for school, routinely working overtime to get everything done on time, or going a night without sleeping just to finish that one last page. While we can have that much passion for something, it would do us well to remember that not everyone else will have that level have passion, or even seriousness, as we do.
One of my biggest passions is writing; whether I'm writing a paper for class, a short story for my own amusement, or even an article for The Odyssey, I have an incredible amount of fun doing it. But what brings me the most amount of joy is when I can write my own worlds, creating people and places that all have a multitude of stories to tell. Honestly, I think that's my calling in life, to create these stories, regardless of what they say; I just have so much passion for it that I really cannot see myself stopping anytime soon!
Of course, along with this passion comes an equal amount of seriousness; if I am writing something, then I am sitting down and doing it god damn it, and nothing is going to stop me otherwise. And as a result, I expect other people to have the same amount of respect and seriousness for my work that I do, because what's the point of making anything if people aren't going to give it the time of day? Now, most of the time, I don't have this kind of problem...but there have been a couple of times where this has been the case.
A little bit of backstory first, however. I run a role-playing game with a large group of friends; I create the world and story, they create their characters and have fun in my world and story. I absolutely love it and have put a fair amount of hours into crafting everything to my expectations, even if it can be mediocre at times. However, my friends to tend to come into the game and screw everything up, but that's completely okay! In fact, I routinely come into the game hoping that that will happen, it's what makes the game so much fun!
The only thing that I ask of my players, however, is to be just a tad bit serious about the game sometimes; whether that's them listening to a very dramatic scene that I put together, or them just getting their work done so we can play the game, all I ask is that they show a tiny bit of respect for the amount of time and effort that I have put into this campaign, if you will. Fortunately for me, more than half of them do this, and it warms my heart to see it...however there are still some problem people.
I won't go into any specifics, as there is a moderate chance that they might read this article in the near future, and I don't want to offend anyone. But some of these people...just give me massive headaches! They don't take my work seriously, at all. Their actions, body language, and conversations both inside the game and outside show that they couldn't give two shits about what I've done, and honestly, it irritates me to no end.
"But Jake!" you might say, "It's just a game! Why get so worked up and offended about it all?" Well, random reader, I agree with you to some extent; this whole thing is just a game, and getting worked up about it is like getting worked up over your favorite characters from a TV show not getting together, or getting worked up over the title of a book because it's slightly offensive. However...try to see things from my point of view.
I have sunk almost a years worth of work into this game, and as a writer, I would like to see my work to the end; I don't give up halfway through and call it quits, if I make something, I WILL finish it. Which makes the whole situation even more irritating! They look at this game and think that it doesn't matter, that it's fine to just never, ever, take seriously. Thankfully, the majority of my players are not like this; they know how much time and effort I've put into this, they know that I am absolutely in love with the characters I've made; they know this, and their actions show it.
It's just...amazing to see this blatant disrespect. Even when their friends are taking everything seriously, they still see it as something that isn't worthy of their attention. And I've wrestled with this for some time now; do I bring it up to them? Do I ignore it and let the other players get frustrated at them? (Because believe me, it's happened.) Do I just cut them out entirely and say, "Tough shit, you should have taken things more seriously"? It took me a while but I finally came to the best solution: let it happen.
Now, why would I do something like that? After all, I just got done ranting about how frustrated I am at them. So why, in my sane and rational mind, would I just let it continue? Well, the answer is simple: life isn't fair. I can't control what people are passionate about, I can't control what people take seriously, I can't control any of that! So it isn't worth my time and energy to be frustrated.
If I can't change it, what's the point of thinking about it? Luckily, in my situation, those who do take the game seriously have said in not so pleasant terms that they are getting pissed off by how they treat the whole thing. They all claim that I don't have do any of this for them and that they should show some respect for the amount of time I've dedicated to the game. Thankfully, it has worked on one of them, but not the other; but the important thing is, is that it's not me who's doing the talking.
I guess what I am trying to get across is that not everyone you meet in life, be it your friends or family, will give you the amount of seriousness you think you deserve for something. And that's okay. You can't control how they feel about, the only thing you can do is to tell them, or in my case, have other people accidentally tell them, that you don't appreciate their lack of respect.
Maybe they do a complete 180, and apologize for their behavior...maybe they still just don't give a shit and simply refuse to take anything you do seriously. Whatever your outcome, just remember...you can't control every aspect of your life. Once you start to practice that mantra, life gets a little bit easier.