This above cartoon strip originally appeared on Zen Pencils and is reprinted here with permission from artist Gavin Aung Than. Gavin is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for 8 years he quit to focus on his true passion, drawing cartoons. Gavin launched Zen Pencils at the start of 2012, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories, and hasn’t looked back since.
Being able to "follow your dreams" is definitely not a universal option. Anyone who has that option--more of us than we may realize--can therefore see it as a privilege; a divine opportunity to live life as ethically, generously, lovingly as possible not only for ourselves but for others. To do otherwise is to waste and disrespect the gift.
I have always believed in following a passion rather than money. There are two practical issues with this premise of "do whatever it is that you like doing". 1. Most things that kids or people like doing cost money -- Horses or Horse Riding lessons are not cheap! And.. 2. Even if the cost was not an issue and we assume that in spite of economies of scale, there will be a market for most things people like to do, it is an assumption that everyone would like to do something constructive.. the problem is that without proper direction or focus, a lot of kids would do nothing constructive i.e. play video games and smoke weed.
After seeing so many people simply trying not to die of starvation, I wouldn't say the advice of "follow your dreams" is universal. Especially when so many people don't even question why they are motivated to pursue something in the first place. Their dream could be to earn enough money to help their family move out of a polluted neighborhood. Perhaps the audience for this are college students in developed nations. However, the principle of reorienting priorities to see that life is more than accumulating materials is something that brings more happiness even to a poor person I met in Cambodia.
From our old friend H.D. Thoreau . . .
if one advances confidently in the direction of
his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet
with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will
pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to
establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and
interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense . . .
Hey everyone!!! My name is Chad Harper. I have an organization called Hip Hop Saves Lives. We partner with NEGUS WORLD to create an after school program called KIDS HELPING KIDS A HIP HOP EXPERIENCE. In this program we teach "HUMANITY THROUGH HIP HOP". We educate them on subjects, then they write lyrics and record a song based on what they learned and we shoot a music video for it. We shared this video with our kids a few weeks ago and asked them this very question! HERE IS WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY!!!!!!
To paraphrase Lao Tzu: "The truly rich person is the one who knows s/he has enough." We have been so brainwashed by advertising to think that we 'need' so many things. These become our slave masters. As Thoreau wrote, "Simplify, simplify, simplify!" And, , as the Dalai Lama says, "The aim of life is to be happy"
If only it was that simple, unfortunately, sometimes, we can't afford such pipe dreams of ours.The bills have to be paid, after all.