Melissa sent me an essay from the New Yorker titled I Switched to a Standing Desk and You Should Too. The guy writes about how the standing desk has changed his life and solved so many of his problems and everyone should do it.
He writes about all the extra benefits of a standing desk and all the choices, and it’s hilarious, and great writing, of course, because it’s the New Yorker. But I couldn’t help feeling that we were making fun of the same type of fanaticism I exhibit on this blog.
It makes me nuts that you are not all homeschooling. So I need to tell you everything I learned, and how homeschooling changed my life, and how much happier you’ll be when you start doing it, too. Which are all the same feelings Mr. Standing Desk conveys in his essay.
I worry I’ve become a parody.
I risk this all the time. Because I know when I’m right and I want everyone to acknowledge when I’m right. I want things to change according to my right vision. Which is maybe also righteous.
I read once that entrepreneurs don’t care as much about the money as they do about being right. They want to be right about a trend. Right about what will sell. Right about what people need.
That’s how I feel: I want to be right. It’s what makes me a good entrepreneur—I had no problem giving up the CEO spot at my last startup because the fact that a new venture capital firm was investing, and replacing me at the same time, meant that I was right about my idea; it was growing big.
I also read that passion is not as helpful when it comes to making money. And since I’m always all about making money, I’ll continue with this line of reasoning. The Harvard Business Review published research this month that says that success doesn’t come from passion but rather from having domain expertise.
Maybe it’s not the Harvard Business Review. I read a lot of business stuff. I don’t know where it’s from. But anyway, I know I read this somewhere, how passion doesn’t make for success.
Fanaticism is good. Passion is good. But I think it might be good in art and not life. I like how Zemer Peled broke all kinds of porcelain and then separated it, and maybe chiseled it a little, and then made something beautiful.
Passion and fanaticism are good for art. But I need to be careful. I can’t sound like the Standing Desk Guy, or else I’ll have to start being more artistic. Like writing sonnets about homeschool. Or breaking off shards as an act of passion for education.
But it’s not me. I just want to be right. I see the world as things that are right and things that are not right and I want people to know when they are wrong. It’s a failing.
Or maybe I have a passion for telling you when you are wrong.
The New York Times has a piece about encouraging kids to have a passion. The writer talks about how all the advice about getting into a good college is that kids need to have a passion. Well-rounded kids are not exciting to schools.
But further down in that article the writer points out that kids are trying so hard to get a passion before their college-application prep-time runs out, that the kids don’t explore. They just focus, and there’s a danger in missing one’s real passion while pursuing a fake passion.
I see this problem in my own passion for homeschooling. I like a cause. I like something to be bossy about. But I’m not sure this is the right thing for me.
I’d like to do homeschooling in a way that I am so confident that I don’t have to get uppity when someone is not homeschooling their kids. I want to be calm and confident and assured that I am right.
I don’t want to miss out on finding my real passion while I am busy trying to convert people to a standing desk, or self-directed curriculum, or probably-overpriced ceramic shards.
I want to be interesting but not overbearing. I want to be passionate but not pushy. I want to be so comfortable with myself that there’s elegance and grace in everything I do.