For the past hour, I've been eavesdropping on a girl's conversation here at Starbucks. She's expounding her many, many theories about politcs, religion, anime & vampires at a volume that makes it virtually impossible not to overhear. She's young, opinionated and very passionate about her ideas. She seems to be fueled by caffeine and righteous rage.
God bless her...I just can't do that anymore. I don't know if I've compromised my values or mellowed with age, but the idea of having this shotgun blast of activism, anger and geekiness 24-7 makes me tired.
Passion is a wonderful thing...it can change the world (or at least your little corner of it) and create indelible works of art. But the fire and sacrifice needed to generate that kind of heat is incredibly demanding. Too often, the end result is burning up or burning out...and not everyone is willing or able to sustain it.
The long fight is inherently a young person's game. That's why we need to encourage the next generation to be active in their communites, dream big dreams and pay attention to what's going on in their world. Change doesn't come from politicians or organizations or governments...it comes from individuals willing to take the risk to fight the long fight.
As for me? Well, I'll let that great philosopher Billy Joel answer that question:
"I believe I've passed the age
Of consciousness and righteous rage
I've found that just surviving
Is a noble fight
I once believed in causes too
I had my pointless point of view
Now it doesn't matter
Who's wrong or right"