Monday, September 21, 2009

My outlier classmate.

So happy for him because he is doing what he loves - the performing arts. Kwong Ming or Jeremiah Choy as he introduces himself these days was my classmate from secondary school.

He has appeared in the papers for the fun stuff several times, but I shall only be able to remember this one because blogs weren't available for journaling.

I have another reason for posting this. To forward it to our teacher who has moved to San Francisco.

How many of us have the same luck as Jeremiah to pursue our passions? I can safely say the majority of us don't even know what our passions are. The thing you are passionate about, especially if you are a young person could very well be a passing fad. That was what my parents though when I became a Christ believer at thirteen. Later in life, key choices we made usually led us away, perhaps forever from discovering our passions. Often the economic imperative consumes most of our energies and attention. We hope with more national and personal wealth, we shall finally have a younger generation with the luxury of discovering and pursuing what they love. I am not so sure.

Beyond passion, I think finding the purpose of our existence is far more important. For most of us, this meaning is embedded in our families and maybe our work. Yet deeper than family and work we must go to plumb for that centre of gravity of why we are here and doing what we do. Eventually we will find ourselves entering the realm of philosophy and religion. And if you never get there, then you have not lived at all.  The majority do not need to articulate its beliefs; and I am afraid many never here never discover they have such a void needing to be filled. However for those living along the fringes, they will always have to explain themselves because they need to connect with the mainstream and obtain permission to influence us. Ticket sales, business success is the mean to this end. In this way, artists can turn their passion into meaning. albeit superficially.

Am I saying that many artists labour under meaningless passions? Perhaps they are still seeking the meaning of their work? Something to ask Kwong Ming when we next have our class reunion.

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