What’s Your Passion?
He was shivering. I could see the tears coming out through his eyes. As he talked about the war his family went through he fastened his fist not only showing his anger but how strongly he felt about it. It was my friend Pavle, who was explaining the wars in the Balkans that took place in the 90s. He was from the side of people who were blamed for these wars, which makes him care about this war even more. He thinks about them a lot and try to learn about them as much as he can. He has formed his opinion on it, because he cares about it, by learning about it.
Pavle was very passionate about history. it mattered to him and that was something very impressive and unusual to me. His thoughts were concrete and meaningful because he had the base of information and knowledge underneath. That night taught me a lot and made me think a lot, not only about the history and the wars but mostly about Pavle’s passion about knowledge, about something that he absolutely cares about. What if everyone had a passion and ability to learn about what they care the most?
In the following summer I talked with my older cousin, which made me reflect on the night with Pavle and see the differences between them. I asked my cousin, “What have you been doing and learning now a days in college?”, “Nothing much. I get tired due to college that I don’t like and that prevents me from playing badminton that I like to play.” she said. I remember how she went to engineering college even though she was not interested in it. She was good at badminton and loved it but could not follow her passion. Her life, just like any other Indian students circled around school, tuitions and family work. Even though she managed to care about something, she could not learn about it as her hobby was killed by that circle. Many like her lose their hobbies on the verge of time when they have to choose what they want to learn in college, but if there is nothing that they like how are they going to figure out what they want to learn? The education should be a follow up of once hobby. Instead of forcing a kid to focus on school work and then asking him what he likes, giving him more choices in the form of his hobbies will probably allow him to know what he cares about.
Any passion or strong emotions about anything should be followed by education and learning. If Pavle didn’t learn about history and formed an opinion he could have been jeopardized by the extremist political parties. His emotional state of caring about history could have easily been used for wrong political causes. The education should take care of what one is curious about and what they want to learn. There is a big difference between a social worker who works for the betterment of a community and an extremist burning the buses to fight for the rights of a community. Both might have the same intentions and emotions about the community but their actions have different impacts due to the education and knowledge behind them. Emotions work as a motivation for our actions but if education is connected to emotions, the actions become more wholesome and effective.
When I was in Kamala Nimbkar Balbhavan (KNB), many of my friends were crazy about something and we wanted to dedicate ourselves for that cause. I am glad KNB made me crazy about working with local communities. I always enjoyed working on annual projects at KNB because they allowed me to interact with several local communities and care about them. Today I am learning Political Science and Economics because I care about communities around me. I was lucky enough to get into an education system where I could learn about something that I care about. Many of my friends got stuck in engineering even though they loved art or some had to take art even though they cared about sciences. I think we need schools that will teach us to care for something and colleges that will give us an opportunity to learn what we truly care for. We need people doing jobs because they care about them and not because they are qualified to do them.
Rushikesh Jadhav, Former Student at KNB and United World College, Bosnia, Currently studying at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota