Two Great Quotes About Grit and Passion

Being a grinning fool who jumps up and down on a sofa proclaiming his passion for the world is not enough. Passion demands suffering. Freely accepted suffering. And the endurance of that freely accepted suffering until the end. If you cannot deal with that side of passion, you are not truly passionate. Of course, most people opt out of passion when they begin to suffer. It’s understandable, especially in our pleasure-pumped world. In fact, it’s perfectly reasonable; after all, reason is the nemesis of passion. Say your marriage has become dull or boring and efforts to bring the passion, the desire, and enthusiasm back have gone nowhere. Reason will tell you to call a divorce lawyer and find your happiness elsewhere whereas passion will demand you stay and endure. The same goes for writing or anything for that matter. Real passion starts where suffering starts. Be strong enough to endure and you will understand the meaning of passion. The mystery will be solved; the hidden truth, revealed.

Francis Berger, 2013

That’s the problem with Grit—it’s a bourgeois, modern American attempt to connect to a concept that is raw, ancient, and dangerous. What modern American parent wants to tell their kid to go forth and suffer? This is why we have a generation of special snowflakes who collapse at the slightest criticism. They can accept grit as a social construct, a skill to work on between yoga class and studying for finals. But the suggestion that they find something they are truly passionate about, be it forming a band, writing a novel or chasing an impossible love—something that would involve risks that might send them off their chosen career path? The response from them—and from Angela Duckworth herself, no doubt—would be that kind of grit is a bridge too far.

Mark Judge, 2016

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