Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Discovery

What do I want more than anything else in the world?

That's passion---that feeling when we want something more than anything else in the world. Why is this suddenly so important, you ask. Well, it's a toss-up between Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and a confusing discussion in ethics class regarding freedom and free will. I waited in Pedro Gil for thirty minutes around 5:30 today in cold rain, and the question of my passion has been running around my head in loops. There's no answer.

I'm nineteen, and nineteen-year olds shouldn't ask question like this. Nineteen year-olds should...well, what are nineteen year-olds supposed to do nowadays? Watch television? Mind their books? Have fun with their friends? Wonder about freedom and free will and what they really want to do, fighting the chest-painful feeling that they don't know and might never know, or that once they do know, that brilliant and uplifting feeling of knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives, they can't?

Dominique Francon is one of the characters in The Fountainhead. She is simply described by Rand as "the woman for a man like Howard Roark [a man as man should be]". She spent the first two and a half decade of her life doing things she didn't really want to do. She did them because she knew that if she found someone, or something, that she wants more than anything else in the world, she would destroy it along with herself. Destruction is one of the facets of passion. You can create with it, save the world with it, be happy with it, but in the end you plant the seed of your and the object of your passion's destruction . Once it's taken away or has proven to be unattainable in the first place, this object, you will self-destruct. And you will take this object with you because the world does not deserve it.

Howard Roark is an architect, a creator for his own sake. He is the ultimate egotist---he lives for no one but himself. His passion is in designing buildings. I would like to be like him, but that's just silly. People like him only live in books, and if people like him, by accident, live outside of books, they are very rare. I happen to be not one of them. My happiness depends on other people's approval. This truth is one of the most disgusting truths I ever have to accept about myself.

I suppose there's no need to hurry about finding what I really want more than anything else in the world. I have a good seventy years ahead of me, if all goes well. Maybe one day, when I'm fifty-two and walking on a busy street, I'll realize that the last fifty-two years of my life has been a waste because I didn't discover my passion earlier. But who cares? I'll save the sinking feeling when I'm fifty-two. Right now, I'm nineteen, and I like my life. I try to do my best regarding the things I care about.

A little part of me wants to postpone The Discovery, though. The word destruction leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


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