According to John Keats, “A Man of Achievement,” has the quality of Negative Capability. He stated that William Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln were two men who achieved this quality quite well.
Don’t we want a Positive Capability?
Yet Negative Capability means “a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” We actually don’t want the capability to be disturbed, or to react.
Instead, when faced with the unknown, we can commit to:
Peace. You may be faced with uncertainty, but you can live peacefully with it.
Trust. You can trust that even without all the answers, they will gently surface when their time has come.
Believe. You can believe, while waiting.
There is a plan. There is a way. You don’t have to see it all before you. In fact, it is already there before you…
John Keats (1795-1821) was an English Romantic poet. Though he wrote for only six years, dying very young, he is one of the most beloved English poets. He is best known for his letters and his six odes, including “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” His poetry is known for its sensual imagery and dramatic intensity.