Ukelele Music Makes for True Passion — Seriously

I can’t say that I’ve ever been a true ukelele fan. If you ride in my car, you get to hear either NPR (and me attempting to argue with the radio) or the local country music station. If I hear new and incredible music, that’s great — but I don’t particularly go out of my way to find it.

This morning, though, I queued up a TED video while I ate breakfast. I’m trying to work my way through them and it’s a convenient time to watch a short video. This morning, Jake Shimabukuro serenaded me with a beautiful rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody on the ukelele. I was awed. It was incredible. The music — and the fact that Shimabukuro has so much passion for an instrument that is the butt of almost as many jokes as the bagpipes — absolutely wowed me.

Can Ukelele Music Build a Better World?

It’s easy to mock passion. It’s easy to wonder why Shimabukuro thinks he can say, “If everyone played the ukelele, the world would be a better place.” After all, there are people starving all over the world. For many of us, there’s an inner voice practically screaming at us to learn a skill, get a job, do something to truly make the world a better place, rather than something like spreading the message of the ukelele.

But that is not how the world works. We don’t choose our passions. More often than not, they wander up, club us over the head and drag us back to their cave, not unlike some stereotypical caveman. And that’s okay. I give you permission to be passionate about something that — on the surface — isn’t serious and may even be down right silly.

Because, at the end of the day, Shimabukuro is right. If everyone played the ukelele, or followed whatever passion inspires them, the world would be a better place.

What is Your Ukelele Music?

When I don’t follow my passion, I get downright cranky. When I know I’m not working on something that I really want to pursue, I pretty much shut down. And that’s a problem far bigger than passion. Because, when I’m enjoying what I do, I’m happy to help other people. I’m happy to spread my passion, but I’m also all about spreading the happiness — especially when it comes down to making the world a better place.

So live your passion. Play ukelele music, build model trains, write epic poetry. Do it now. Because it’s the path that will lead you to everything else. You’ll accomplish more, help the world and be happier.

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