On Will & Will Power

By Souvik Biswas

We all read and hear a lot of things about will power. In this twenty-first century, we notice there are many motivational speakers who have mushroomed across online platforms to deliver lectures on how to increase our will power, how not to break down easily for a single instance, etc. Besides, there are many self-help books available which tell us about the same. Nowadays, people suffer terribly from various psychological tensions. Our tech-savvy generation is also not beyond this tug of war. As a result, they are gradually losing their will and, eventually, their will power too.

Here, I want to briefly share an incident from the book Everyday Greatness written by Steven R. Covey. I found this incident very inspiring as well as interesting. The incident happened almost two and a half decades ago in Honolulu. This is the best example of will power I have come across to date.

Lindy Kunishima and Geri had two daughters: Trudi, thirteen years old, and Jenifer, nine years old, and a younger son, Steven. When Steven was only eighteen months old, Geri was told that his son will never walk or talk as a result of the vermis – an area of the brain that transmits messages to and from the body’s muscles – which had not developed. Seeing Geri crestfallen, his older daughter, Trudi, challenged the doctor’s statement and decided that she will not give up until Steven overcame his disability. 

The two sisters, Jenifer and Trudi, started working on their brother’s illness by asking him questions, pointing out at animals and people illustrated in books. As expected, Steven gave no response. But after three months, his family was witnessing improvements in Steven’s memory because he began to inch towards his books and flip through one of them till he found the page filled with pictures of animals. One day, he was humming the music which Jenifer and Trudi played on the piano in front of him. Thus, he gradually improved and after many rejections, he was admitted to a pre-school by Louise Bogart of Robert Allen Montessori School who found that Steven was determined to make himself understood. This way, he continuously improved and was admitted to a mainstream Catholic school in 1990. 

This is a perfect example of collective determination to cure a child. I just wonder how much will power people need to get such noble work done. This actually reminds me of that famous proverb, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” In my opinion, if we can utilize our will power in a proper way, its strength would not be any less than that of atomic energy.

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