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Willingness: Barren or Bountiful
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It has occurred to me that willingness, when standing by herself, has been as barren as an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation and provides no shelter or sustenance.
So sure of myself of this uncommon position, I am willing to bet you disagree with me. However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret; I never bet. Let’s do another one: I am willing to go to Mars. Another: I am willing to sail the Seven Seas. Finally: I am willing to live in a cardboard box.
All that willingness: Wow! I am certain that you are willing to do many things yourself.
Are these the contemplations of willingness that Alexander Pope wanted us to consider when he penned these thoughts; “Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike”? (1)
There is some good news, however; marry willing to love, passions, or convictions, and she becomes invincible. Take for example the now famous words of U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on March 18, 2003 when he invited the “coalition of the willing” to band together and fight terrorism.
I have seen people, myself included, who have fallen victim to being “willing” to do this or that, yet fail to release any of the other characteristics necessary to fulfill the cause of the willingness in the first place. This in effect has been wishful thinking. On the other hand, I have seen people who have been caught up in willingness’s embrace while she was married to love, passion, or conviction. In that marriage I have found that she is always first amongst the leadership of great bounty.
Next time you find willingness knocking at your door check to see if she is married to love, passions, or convictions. If she isn’t, send her away with “wishful thinking” to play in the wilderness of the “wanting”.
1. John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919
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