Our society & Western civilization in general is structured around transactions.
When you go to the market and want to get things for your home, you pay money and get goods.
In order to get the money you’ll be spending, you’re basically selling to someone your most precious asset: Time. Now that’s important because time is the one thing that you get never get back. It’s the only thing that once given is gone forever.
That’s why it’s important that we spend our lives doing things that we love, things that serve a greater purpose.
Most people wake up in the morning, go to their work, then finish work, get back home, spend some time with their families, and then go to sleep. Same thing day after day. On weekends, they usually don’t work and spend the whole day with their families.
People working on open-source projects however are slightly different: They go to work on a job that pays them, then come back home, see their families, then work on something else for free, sometimes spend more time on the work they do for free than they spend on their paying job and then go to sleep. Same thing day after day. On weekends, they sometimes work more than they work on weekdays because they have more time free to work on the stuff that they actually give away for free.
People working on open-source projects are usually idealists. People that believe they can change the world by improving the tools that we use day after day. It’s because of people like that that the internet exists today and is flourishing the way it is. Surely it wouldn’t be what it is today if linux never existed, or any of the components that make up a server. Everything is based on the work that thousands of people have done on their own free time, out of passion for what they love and a sense of serving a greater purpose.
However, even today we see that outside the web industry, open-source in frowned upon. People like us that actually love our work and on our free time choose to work basically pro-bono are usually considered as anti-social, sociopaths and other things that are anything but compliments. Nobody uses the term they should use: idealists.
The reason that I choose to work more than 14 hours/day is not because I - or anyone else working on an open-source project - don’t want to hang out. It’s because I really believe that the work I’m doing is important. I’ve got thousands of people working with the tools that I create, hundreds of sites using the software that I built, dozens of other developers building their own products using the things that I built. I have a responsibility not to them but to myself… I have to improve the way my products work. I have to research and find a better way to do things. I want to improve the way people work. I spend more than 150 hours/month working for free on improving things so that others don’t have to.
It’s a mission.
You should respect that.