“So, what do you do?” We’ve heard the question (and likely asked it) a million times over when meeting people. It’s the standard line for small talk, but it’s always rubbed me the wrong way. Admittedly, the question itself isn’t the problem. I personally love hearing what people are up to, but the assumption behind the question—“What do you do to make a living?”—often won’t get you to the real stories. For me, I’d rather hear about how people feed their passions than how they pay their bills. For many if not most people, the two don’t go hand in hand. I think those passions might be in shorter supply these days, and it’s a sad turn of events for the collective creativity as well as personal well-being.
With extended work hours and commutes as well as the prevalence of technological distractions, many of us are devoting fewer hours to hobbies. We fulfill the requirements of the day, but what do we end up doing for fun beyond the passive entertainments of the television and computer? And when we do take advantage and do something we enjoy, do we take the time to cultivate our interest? Do we allow ourselves to delve into an activity many times over, to develop a skill for pure enjoyment and mastery’s sake as opposed to practical gain?