(8th Post on GRIT)
Dr. Duckworth does not address the question raised in this post, is a passion worth pursuing? But this is an important question. The costs involved in pursuing a passion include the time taken from the rest of our lives. These costs are considerable, so there are practical issues in choosing passions. If the passion provides both personal and financial rewards, then there is little, if any problem. If the passion involves a scholarly, altruistic, or artistic pursuit, although these do provide value to the community, financial rewards might be iffy. Passions that benefit society are commendable, but people still need to satisfy their financial needs.
The United States is a country in which sports are highly valued. This becomes particularly evident in an Olympic year. There are several Olympic sports that provide handsome financial rewards for athletes who succeed in them. However, most Olympic sports do not offer handsome financial rewards. No specific sports will be mentioned so that no one will be offended. We shall see video clips of individuals showing how hard they work at their respective sport, and these film clips are highly laudatory. In many cases, the sport is all time consuming. HM often wonders, why is this individual making this investment? How can it be justified? If the effort is being made to win a Gold Medal, the prospects of success are extremely small. HM also read that bronze medal (3rd place) finishers feel better than do silver medal (2d place) finishers. The reason being is that silver medal winners feel that they lost the Gold medal, whereas Bronze Medal finishers are happy that they won a medal. This is something to be happy about as only an extremely small percentage of Olympic participants win any medal. Of course, the spirit of the Olympics is to participate and do one’s best. However, it seems like these ideals of the Olympics are largely forgotten.
HM would like to hear from readers from other countries regarding the priority placed on sports. HM frequently walks past baseball fields and sees very small children dressed in uniforms playing baseball. Unfortunately, the level of performance is quite low. Informal games and drills might be better for these children than uniforms and competition. Not all the children appear to be enthusiastic, which makes HM wonder if these children are being forced to participate.
Passions are important. They greatly enhance lives. But there are also high costs in pursuing passions, so they should be chosen carefully.
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