I woke up this morning feeling fine, as I had something special on my mind. In fact it was splenetic rather than special. Michael Ruhlman is a writer whose words make sense to me, and his piece entitled “The Fallacy of “Follow your Passion” resonated clearly with my own views. Passion, it appears, is all around us, so we should be feeling it in our fingers and in our toes. Every branch of the media trumpets the discovery of yet another butcher, baker or cup cake maker who is, first and foremost, “passionate” about their chosen metier. There is a memorable sequence in Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore’s version of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in which a “passionate” one legged Dudley Moore applies for the job of running messages across the moors. Peter Cooke’s sage observation ” I have nothing against your right leg. The problem is that neither do you” says it all. Passionate enthusiasm is a wonderful emotion, but it has no link whatsoever to ability. Few of us would be overjoyed by the prospect of being treated by a “passionate” dentist or anaesthetist nor by the sight of a “passionate” pilot emerging from the cockpit of our flight. Maybe we just relish passion in people who can’t kill or maim us. Having a passion has hitherto signified being desirous, but in nowspeak it has transmogrified into a self bestowed confirmation of quality and talent. For “I am passionate about…” read “Aren’t I just so good at..” The annoying thing about wanting to be good at something is that it takes time, honesty and hard work to find out if you have any hope of being good at that something – but that concept would be ill at ease with the zeitgeist.