One must have a hobby, better two. A pastime – a skill – to be passionate about. It can be anything your heart desires, there are no wrong or right hobbies. It is simply how you chose to spend your free time or, in a rare outcome, your professional life. That is not Urban Legend – a rare few find a way to “live” their hobby. For others a hobby may serve as a not too distant escape to delve into when things are not going one’s way or when life gets too real.
In truth, if chosen thoughtfully and with reverence, a hobby can be life altering and defining. It may serve as a link in the chain of one’s existence, past, present and future.
I, like my father before me and like my daughter after me, am an angler. That means we like to fish… Just ask us. Or don’t if you haven’t the time to hear about our most prolific, latest or upcoming adventure. We, as is true of the majority of our extended male family, can’t help ourselves. We will go on and on until your eyes glaze over. We will also send links to our most recent catch (see photos). We are enthusiastic, truly, not bragging. Though we practice different forms in different locales, at the basic level, we share a love, and a passion for the act of fishing.
At this intersection of passion and skill, this “hobby” becomes bigger, more important than just landing the Big One. We each, my late father and I, strive to share and educate those around us to the joy and value found through our hobby. My Dad spent a lifetime proving it and now I too believe that an individual can alter the course of another’s life through teaching him or her to fish. Is it the act of fishing? No, it is something far grander, more generous and important. It is the act of taking the time to focus on another, sharing one’s skills and passions. To demonstrate through your actions that the other is valued. In a word, to be a mentor.
Mentors alter the lives of those they reach out to. And my Dad, through his hobby did just that. He taught an entire generation of kids – my brother and myself, our cousins, my brother’s friends – how to fish. The ripple effect of doing something he was passionate about has proven limitless.
So when choosing a hobby, yes choose for yourself, for your personal enjoyment and enrichment. But if you are truly fortunate, it will prove an activity that may cross over generations and leave those you love just a little more whole.