Critic’s Corner: Take time for your passion


Maybe you’re an avid reader; maybe you haven’t picked up a book for fun in years. But stay tuned—this column relates to you.

I, for one, am obsessed with books large and small. Particularly the large ones. I spend all my free time during the summer either hiking or reading. But when I get caught up in the throes of school, extra-curricular activities and everything that makes up my college existence, my books end up sitting on the top shelf unread.

We do this with little things we’re passionate, which end up on the wayside. We say we will read them in our free time. What free time? The hour I so desperately needed a nap that I was looking forward to it all day?

I realized, when preparing to write a critique on a piece of literature or a film, that I haven’t had or made the time to read anything outside of class work or even watch any movies worthy of an entire column in longer than I’d like to admit.

Yet it’s reading that makes my imagination come alive. Maybe for someone else it’s a good science fiction movie or building a car part. But isn’t it that passion which fuels your curiosity in other areas and from which you draw knowledge that you can apply to other areas of your life? Without exercising your passion, you’re resigning yourself to only that which you’re bound to do.

College is the time that we ought to be engaging these areas of our interest more than ever, for it is from them, from where our passion lies, that our lives will be shaped and even our careers. College isn’t a competition to see who can be the most involved and the busiest. It’s a time to discover who you are and what you want to pursue in the years to come.

For me, this means not stifling the reading bug that bites me at random hours. If we weren’t so busy with everything else we’ve committed to (which can be perfectly good activities in moderation), we would have time for the things that make us come alive.

Maybe you just really need to write a poem to voice all your thoughts. Maybe this means you should stay up till 2 a.m. discussing theology after watching “A Man for All Seasons.” As long as this doesn’t happen every night, I would encourage us all to have those experiences which bring out the curiosity, the zeal and the joy in us.

For that joy is what our Christian walk is about as well. It’s not the performance of particular rituals that we feel obliged to perform. It’s about the joy that we ought to experience in prayer and in communion with the Lord.

I regret that you did not get to read a critique this week of one of the beautiful books sitting on my top shelf. But hopefully we both learned to critique ourselves this week and learned to make time for the things that really matter: the things that give us true joy.

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