by Fionn Zarubica
Recently, I asked a young Serbian man what he feels most frustrated by and powerless to address with regard to the conditions that Serbia faces today. He said it is that so many young people are using a series of self-defeating excuses to talk themselves out of living up to their potential.
I understood what he was trying to say, but this got me thinking about potential. What does that actually mean.
Most commonly the term is used to refer to something positive, set aside for each of us, that we have the right to draw from or become; a spiritual or material promise that will unfold if we can discover the secret to unlocking it.
But, if we examine its meaning, there is no implicit positive or negative in the word potential. It is, on the other hand, associated with the word potent from the Latin potentia which means "power, might, force"; and that boils down to energy.
The thing about energy is that it does not take sides. Likewise potential does not judge, it exists as possibility.
Potential is possibility through which our life’s energy, directed by our free will, might flow.
We are all living up to our potential at every moment. The potential to love, create and serve; to hate, destroy and take, and everything in between.
As for self-defeating excuses, the fact is we cannot defeat our "selves". Try as we might, we can only send ourselves through a variety of more or less challenging potentials. Whatever potential we choose will offer its lesson.
What we are really talking about is what happens when we lie down in the road and impede the way for others. More of society’s problems are generated by those who impose their free will on the free will others, than by those who choose an unenlightened path.
It is not for us to decide what potential another ought to be living up to, because we cannot know what it is that they need to experience. Neither should we allow analysis of their progress to distract us from our own. But, what we can do is get out of each other’s way.
Potential like nature, in the absence of human interference, reveals its perfection.