In an interview with contemporary artist Sian Hislop,  the host asked her, “How did you come to be an artist?” A reasonable and logical opening ‘icebreaker’ question.  Hislop replied, “I don’t think it’s something that you decide, it chooses you. I have known that I have wanted to be an artist since I was 5.”

At first I continued on reading the remainder of the interview but could feel the answer to the first question  ricocheting around in my body.

Too many times we have smirked when someone said that they were still trying to figure out what they wanted to do when they grew up.

What’s the issue you ask?

Because at the time I was a young professional, with a responsible job, making money and by society’s standards ‘livin’ the good life. But I also knew that there’s a statistics I know that  about 60% + of college graduates do not work in the area of there college course of study. And I can’t imagine how many people work just to make money in a dead end job because it’s the best they can do.

And Ms Hislop knew at 5!

So what’s my point?

We live in a culture where what’s important is dictated by news, advertising, parenting and other cultural factors. We let ‘what’s important’ get dictated to us. Things like: youth, svelte bodies, money, power, getting ahead at all cost, the latest car, biggest house…you get my point.

I’m left to wonder what our country  might be like if everyone  had a built in mechanism that allowed us to discover what we have a passion for during the growing up phase of our life and we were able to pursue that passion with endless abandon.  I can’t imagine how more great artists and musicians would materialize, what powerful literature would be written, what exciting environmental and community programs would be available. I also, naively perhaps, think there would be less anger, more love, and improved world-wide communities, more family time.

What are your passions that you’re putting off or not perusing and how might they improve the quality of life?




  1. bobritzema Says:

    Thus it always was, though. There never has been a culture that didn’t bombard its young with messages that help perpetuate the culture, or, if there was, it didn’t transmit itself to future generations and thus didn’t last long. We are fortunate in that, compared to the great majority of cultures, people in our culture who do have a sense of calling to a particular career can follow that calling. Hearing that calling through all the cultural noise–there’s the rub.

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