The Good Will

“Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good, without qualification, except a good will. Intelligence, wit, judgment, and the other talents of the mind, however they may be named, or courage, resolution, perseverance, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects; but these gifts of nature may also become extremely bad and mischievous if the will which is to make use of them, and which, therefore, constitutes what is called character, is not good. It is the same with the gifts of fortune. Power, riches, honor, even health, and the general well-being and contentment with one’s condition which is called happiness, inspire pride, and often presumption, if there is not a good will to correct the influence of these on the mind, and with this also to rectify the whole principle of acting and adapt it to its end. The sight of a being who is not adorned with a single feature of a pure and good will, enjoying unbroken prosperity, can never give pleasure to an impartial rational spectator. Thus a good will appears to constitute the indispensable condition even of being worthy of happiness.

“There are even some qualities which are of service to this good will itself and may facilitate its action, yet which have no intrinsic unconditional value, but always presuppose a good will, and this qualifies the esteem that we justly have for them and does not permit us to regard them as absolutely good. Moderation in the affections and passions, self-control, and calm deliberation are not only good in many respects, but even seem to constitute part of the intrinsic worth of the person; but they are far from deserving to be called good without qualification, although they have been so unconditionally praised by the ancients. For without the principles of a good will, they may become extremely bad, and the coolness of a villain not only makes him far more dangerous, but also directly makes him more abominable in our eyes than he would have been without it.

“A good will is good not because of what it performs or effects, not by its aptness for the attainment of some proposed end, but simply by virtue of the volition [a ‘volition’ is an ‘act of will’, a ‘willing’]; that is, it is good in itself, and considered by itself is to be esteemed much higher than all that can be brought about by it in favour of any inclination, nay even of the sum total of all inclinations. Even if it should happen that, owing to special disfavour of fortune, or the stingy provision of a step-motherly nature, this will should wholly lack power to accomplish its purpose, if with its greatest efforts it should yet achieve nothing, and there should remain only the good will (not, to be sure, a mere wish, but the summoning of all means in our power), then, like a jewel, it would still shine by its own light, as a thing which has its whole value in itself. Its usefulness or fruitfulness can neither add nor take away anything from this value. It would be, as it were, only the setting to enable us to handle it the more conveniently in common commerce, or to attract to it the attention of those who are not yet connoisseurs, but not to recommend it to true connoisseurs, or to determine its value.”




Thank you to Sandy and everyone else donating to the Alzheimer’s Society cause and cheering me on as I staggered in after the Thames Path Challenge walk. I was really on my last legs at the end of the challenge. I started off strong and the first 14 km was fine and I was going at a good pace. I pushed myself during the second quarter, jogging as well as walking, until tiredness and what felt like a strained muscle near my groin forced me to slow down. I enjoyed the rainfall as I came in to the second rest stop near the halfway point. During the third quarter my pace had slowed to a comfortable stroll and at the third rest point I was beginning to feel very stiff and did not dare rest long. The last quarter was quite difficult. The distance completed was signposted at every kilometer and I was counting down the distance I still had to go. I calculated that I was walking at about 1 km per 12 minutes. As I got to the finish completely drained Sandy, Lisa, Dane, Orin, Anita, Maricia, Zaharah and Xavier were waiting and cheered me in.

By the time we got home I could hardly move my legs and I still feel stiff. I would like to do the Thames Challenge again next year, it is well organised and the route is good, but I would wish to be much better prepared. I left the plea for sponsorship to the last moment and my preparation for walking was zero. I depended on general fitness and determination and that was only just enough. Sandy was clearly much more worried about the challenge than I was and is very relieved. I would love to say that I’ve learnt my lesson and an old dog can learn new habits but we will see.

The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity I would support in the future for reasons beyond my own mother’s struggle with the disease. I think that supporting those who are old and have cognitive impairments is extremely important and we need to pay more attention to this.

Trying to Fly

We did this at the end of July. Despite my falls I want to do this again. No one else seems that keen.

Air and Water



During our short stay in Manchester Sandy and I went underwater at Sealife and I was carried aloft on columns of air at Airkix. We saw two plays, Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Present’, and Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’. We enjoyed seeing the very impressive Trafford Centre and travelling on the tram network.