Brilliant piece and provocative. I am glad you have surrendered to your passion and are living into your ‘potential’.
However, I’m not comfortable with your characterization of ‘potential’.
On the journey we call life, isn’t there always somewhere down the road we are going (or growing) to? Isn’t there always some ‘potential’ we are trying to coax out of ourselves? What vibrant, passionate person has ever reached their potential in their lifetime?
Not even the masters reached ‘their potential’. They constantly reach beyond their capability to achieve something more, express themselves more fully. Often they failed miserably and more often then we know.
Picasso said “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
Weren’t your James, Marco, and Pete each on their own path of learning and growth? Striving for their potential?
Certainly money in the bank, boats in the bay, and companies to run cannot be the measure of a man! Do these possessions mean a man has reached their potential? Does it make them men worthy of the label?
How many cons, cheats and bullies acquire power and wealth? Are the rich and powerful necessarily better men than the outré artist, the aspiring chef, or even your brilliant addict-writer?
Whose is to be the judge? Who says what ‘should be’? You, me, some common standard? I hope not.
You write: “my point is, men should not have “potential.” If they’re men already, and deserving of that descriptive tag, they should already be doing, not storing up. They should be working, fulfilling their potential, actively using it, emptying and re-filling their vessel, leveraging their energy to create, to do, to move forward”.
I love that paragraph! It’s beautiful. But how can you be the judge of that in anyone but yourself?
When you don’t see ‘evidence’ of this type of potential, is a man not a man? Or are they somehow disqualified as men worthy of the label ‘potential’?
If so, then that would negate the entire process of personal growth, where ‘failure’, setbacks and extended periods of apparent stagnation are inevitable and healthy occurrences.
All that said — I love the intent of your piece and hope to read more from you.