Potential. What does the word mean? Is it something that we strive to meet? Some conclusive state whereby we become somehow complete in our destiny? Is it a nebulous goal like an afterlife in paradise? Or does it have a more driving immediacy?
For most of my life I have seen my potential as some far off goal that I was supposed to be striving to meet, much like the heaven that I longed to get into after hearing about it in Sunday School. But just as I’ve come to realize that eternal life occurs in the here and now, I am also realizing that potential shares the same principles.
Quoting from many Internet sources, potential is a field defined in space, from which many important physical properties may be derived. From the Latin word, potentia, it means simply “power.” It is the energy of an electrical charge measured by its power to do work. It is that which is endowed with energy adequate to a result. Most simply, it is anything that may be possible.
I am living my potential through anything that I put my energy toward, which I give my power to. Because whatever I do, whatever any of us does, breeds the potential of that task and nurtures the potential of the energies affected by it.
Whether it be constructing letters and words to form coherent thoughts and communication, or capturing colors and images to express beauty, or aiding another sentient being and sharing compassion and kindness, it is our potential. On the other side of the coin, if we direct our energies toward less constructive means, our potential lies there, be it violent behavior, sloth, destruction, or apathy.
Whatever we do, we direct the course of the universe in creating the possibility for something else. Our lives are our potential. What results will come of our charge?