will

Every now and then I read something in the New York Times and get obsessed with it. I mean OBSESSED.

One such article that immediately comes to mind is a 2007 travel piece about a real life wonder land, a Yemeni island named Socotra, which is home to the world’s most unusual collections of organisms, including many species of plants and animals that can be found nowhere else on earth. I still look at the slideshow once every 3-4 months. But I digress…

My latest infatuation is with something I read just a couple of days ago. It was a profile chronicling a Sunday with Al Sharpton. Say what you will about the Rev. (I know people have plenty of reasons to love him and hate him) but I was really touched and inspired by it. He’s a fellow optimist who views every morning that he wakes as a “victory.” Also, according to the article, the Rev. recites two poems every day. Both of the poems are very powerful, but I was really moved by one called “Will” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
Can circumvent or hinder or control
The firm resolve of a determined soul.
Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;
All things give way before it, soon or late.
What obstacle can stay the mighty force
Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?
Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.
Let the fool prate of luck. The fortunate
Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,
Whose slightest action or inaction serves
The one great aim. Why, even Death stands still,
And waits an hour sometimes for such a will.

After reading this poem, I felt energized with great optimism and hope. It’s no wonder Rev. Sharpton has committed it to memory. I later read elsewhere that the “art of being kind” was Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s “religion,” and she lived it every day of her life. A woman after my own heart. Thank you and be kind.

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One thought on “will

  1. Those photos are truly incredible. I want to be there right now. Too bad Yemenis and their government hate me and all I represent!

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