We are often propelled into reaction by what is happening around us so that we don't engage our own mind. Sometimes we look back on our actions and wonder what in the world happened to cause the outcome. If we connect with the moment through memory, we might be able to see the exact second we were no longer in control - the moment we allowed things to happen naturally through a cause-and-effect continuum.
There are times we must be willing and allow the momentum of what's going on to carry us through. But even in those times we want to protect a small portion of our own mind so that our inner rules are followed. Parents of teenagers are quite aware of these kinds of situations. They hope and pray that the family ethics and values are so deeply rooted that "common sense" will kick in at the critical moment. We can all remember our own parents saying something like, "If Johnny jumped off the bridge, would you do it, too?" Our rational minds would respond with the expected "of course not!" but our internal guardian had not yet assumed his eventual post at that age.... And there was a real possibility that we could have been sailing through the air and suddenly realize our actions had not been prompted by our own thoughts.
As adults, we might discover that we have such a tight control over our actions, that we double-think every thought and action in our day-to-day living. We can be so tightly wound up on "thinking things through" that we don't accomplish anything at all. That's the other side of the coin - the other side of that basic right we all have been endowed with - freedom.
Yes, we are free to stand our ground on our principles - to exercise our choice of Will... not moving off a stance until we have decided to do so. But then we often discover that our unwillingness to be flexible - or to be open to another point of view has tilted our purpose. And like a teeter-totter without a counter-balance, we tip all the way down to the bottom of our side of things.
Another way of looking at this might be that we stand firm in our position, yet are willingly open to listen to and balance our own inner guides with what new thoughts might be shared. We are not jumping around from one stance to another without first being willing to consider how those new ideas fit in with our original and basic ethics and values. We are straddling our side of the teeter-totter with our feet firmly on the ground. We have not yet placed all our weight on the seat without first willingly and openly listening to see how the other person is straddling their side of the teeter-totter. It's common sense, really. Kids learn this really quick on the playground - it is a trust factor, a learning experience that has ramifications for the rest of their lives.
We were all endowed by our Creator with certain powers or attributes that are perfect tools with which to live our lives with joy, health and cooperation. We can perpetuate peace or wage war within our own family dynamics or workplace.... or in a global arena. Will is one of the strongest of those tools - but it must be used in combinations with a few of the other tools.... Love, Understanding, Hope come to mind.
Are you willing to be willing? or are you willful and standing firm. The rest of your life will be measured by the choices you make.