A Word on Wednesday: Will

Today’s post is about the word will when used as an auxiliary verb. An auxiliary verb is used in forming tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. Will moves an action to the future.

After we collectively counted down the last minutes of 2016, we embarked on 2017 with its promise of 365 unwritten days.

With articulated resolutions told with varying conviction, we believed in the power of positive change. Resolutions are by definition set in the future: will lose weight, will quit smoking, will go back to school, will ask for a promotion, will pay down my debt, will attend more concerts, will make a new friend, will read twelve books, or will finish writing that novel.


A friend, who died last month at the age of 39, often repeated this common sentiment: “There are only two days that nothing can be done. One is yesterday. The other is tomorrow.”

I have come to loath the word will  in both my writing and my thoughts. No longer do I have the luxury of ignorance of immortality. There is no time to will. There is no value in saying “I will write tomorrow.” or “I will hug my loved ones tomorrow.”

The helping verb will is dependent on assumptions. The assumption of a future. The assumption of a second chance. The assumption of endless mortal days.

I challenge myself to learn from literature. I challenge myself to avoid wishful thinking. I challenge myself to avoid will my action verbs to an uncertain future.

I act today with purpose. I postpone only the least important items. Laundry may never be complete. My floors may never be those to eat upon.

Yet, I promise to eradicate the helping verb will from my vernacular. I promise to live today.

I also vow to avoid the helping verb will in my poetry and prose. Few novels are written in future tense. (If you can think of one, please let me know.)

*Note: I know not why this friend was called early and I was given more days on earth. I miss her. Her mantra was “Loving Living Life 2Day.”

Live well my friends. Live well.

 

One Comment on “A Word on Wednesday: Will

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