I think it can be a good or bad thing depending on the situation.
For example, if you saw your child or pet about to get hit by a car, that would not be the right time to remain passive. Indeed, certain situations warrant quick action.
I tend to remain passive when I am indifferent to whatever is happening around me. For example, some of my coworkers get all worked up over the smallest things, like finding out there are no cups left in the cafeteria, or upon discovering that the holiday lunch will take place at Friday's rather than Chili's. Those kinds of things elicit no reaction in me because, frankly, I don't find them to be a big deal.
I think people who react that way to inconsequential events might be given names like "drama queen" or "chit chatter." I run away from such people like the plague.
Can't people strive to be a little deeper? If I don't consider something worth gushing over, I'm going to keep my emotions in check -- and go about my business.
Do you agree? Do you ever find yourself being passive? What situations prompt you to break out of your passivity?