Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

How To Do What You Love

Paul Graham, Jan 25, 2006

John Stuart Mill talked about this a little more than a century ago - "pursuing our own good in our own way." It is a philosophy that has become one of two great pillars of my own morality ever since (the other: each person is an end in themselves, and hence has inherent value). I still remember exactly where and when I first read On Liberty: in the Devonian Gardens in downtown Calgary in 1983. But, what is our own good? How do we define it, and pursue it in such a way as to not deprive others of the ability to pursue their own good. Harder questions, and in the end I think it comes down to a passion, a sensation or strong emotional feeling, or as this item describes, doing what you love. I have learned since then that none of this comes easily, that it is inordinately difficult to sift through our emotions to find what we love, and harder still to be steadfast in the pursuit of it. But, I think, not doing this is harder still, in the long run. Via Rob Wall, who adds his own worthwhile comments.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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