Fine by Me by Amadeus Rex
Fine By Me

The Validity of Passions

Mar 26, 2021, 10:00 PM
Amadeus Rex

Amadeus Rex

Columnist

THE things about which one might be passionate are a part of what defines them.

This is not to say that one must be judged according to their tastes, but I believe that a person's interests and passionate pursuits add color and flavor to their lives.

A person and their interests mutually complement each other—their interests provide a sort of window into themselves, while the person's own traits are accentuated in the ways they might express appreciation for the things they like.

Taste and Enjoyment

From the “refined” against the “basic” to the mainstream against the obscure, many people tend to create boxes for categorizing interests, all according to what they themselves deem good.

Take, for instance, the appreciation of things commonly considered classy, such as fine wine or classical paintings.

While it is truly something noteworthy to appreciate such things, the significance of doing so lies not in the act of appreciation itself, but rather in the person's own enjoyment of these.

My friends have put it best: “Don't force yourself to do it if you don't enjoy it.”

On the other hand, never feel ashamed for liking things just because people might either criticize or ridicule you for it.

The means by which you enjoy things matter, of course, but simply liking the things you like shouldn't cause you stress or lower your own view of yourself.

Regarding Skill or Talent

I'll say this straight: you don't have to be good at something to enjoy it.

I'm good at some things, passable at others, and downright mediocre at a few. If I were to be completely honest, my passion burns strongest not for the things in which I excel but for the things at which I am decent at best.

I know it feels terrible to doubt the validity of your engagement in an interest simply because you cannot do it well enough, but unless you're someone who often finds themselves focused on performance, the pleasure you derive from the things you like is generally irrelevant to whether or not you can do something to justify that interest.

Quantity and Quality

Just as you don't have to be good at something to enjoy it, you don't have to know everything about it, either.

You've watched a whole series seven times and counting? Cool. You've memorized the lyrics to every single song in your favorite band's discography? Also cool.

Even if you didn't, that'd still be perfectly fine. It doesn't mean you don't like what you like.

Everyone has their own ways and extents of displaying their interest in certain things, no single one less valid than another.

There are certain boundaries, of course, but those are based on what is considered healthy rather than what is considered “true”.

The bottom line is that all it takes for your interest in something to be “true” or “valid” is—you guessed it—your interest in it. The happiness you can get out of whatever it is you like is the only standard that matters.


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