Sunday, March 5, 2017

A quick quote

Partially due to the prior craziness of this month not having completely abated yet, partially due to a somewhat exhausting trip to Disneyland this week, and partially due to coming into our March birthday season, there’s no time for a full post this week.  However, I will give you a partial post by sharing one of my many favorite quotes.

When it comes to non-fiction television, there are only a few shows that I regularly watch:
  • The Daily Show (with Trevor Noah)
  • @Midnight (with Chris Hardwick)
  • The Late Show (with Stephen Colbert)
  • Last Week Tonight (with John Oliver)
  • Full Frontal (with Samantha Bee)
That’s it.  No reality TV, no sports, no cooking shows,* no travel shows, no talk shows, no hard news ... outside of the occasional nature documentary or science show with my kids, there ain’t nothing else.  And you can see the pattern here: these are all shows where I can find out what’s going on in the world, but they make me laugh at it instead of depressing the hell out of me.

Of course, the first 3 of these also have guests: often celebrities of some type or other—actors, directors, musicians, politicians, sports stars—but sometimes less well-known folks, like lesser-known authors, activists, historians, political commentators, or journalists.  I have an interesting take on the celebrities,** but the other guests are usually more intriguing.  They’re typically people I’ve never heard of before (unless they were previously guests on one of the other shows), and they often have really interesting stories, which they have a few minutes to spit out on the air in ultra-condensed form, and sometimes they say very cool things.  Here’s a quick example.

Wes Moore is a fellow that Wikipedia describes as “an American author, social entrepreneur, producer, political analyst, and decorated US Army officer.”  The man has done a veritable shitload of things in his less-than-40 years on the planet, and he’s quite an impressive guest on a show like those I mention above: knowledgeable, articulate, and passionate.  On February 4th of 2015, Jon Stewart interviewed him on The Daily Show.  You can watch the entire clip on the Internet if you like,*** but for purposes of this quick post I want to just mention one thing he said:

Every day you’re doing what you’re not passionate about, you become extraordinarily ordinary.

    — Wes Moore, quoting a mentor of his

As I sometimes do when I hear a quote worthy of capturing, I had to stop (in this case, pause the DVR) and digest that for a minute, then back up and transcribe it, going over and over it several times to make sure I had it down exactly.  ‘Cause that’s just damned inspiring.  I have tried to focus my life on doing things that I’m passionate about, and I hope I’ve managed to instill that in my children as well.  But I have never been able to say what Wes Moore said so succinctly or clearly: don’t waste your time on things you’re not passionate about.  Don’t even bother.  Because that’s how you fade into obscurity, and perhaps even worse: that’s how you deprive the world of your talent.  I thank Mr. Moore for sharing his wisdom with me.

Which I’ve now passed on to you, in case you missed it the first time around.  Hopefully it will inspire you as it has me.  Until next week, go out and do something you’re passionate about.  I plan to as well.


* I used to watch Good Eats, but it’s not on any more.  And Iron Chef, in most all of its incarnations.  But I gave up on cooking shows.

** Which is probably worthy of its own blog post someday.

*** And if you can stand to deal with Comedy Central’s horrible player, which generally I can’t.

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