Goodwill

laughing women sitting in front of table doing high five clap

You know what good will is when you experience it

Saturday’s People’s Vote march in central London – where an estimated 700,000 people, all concerned about the impending doom-laden no-deal or hard Brexit –  united together in harmonious solidarity to express their feelings and demand a final say on what happens.

Britain, my country, is in a state of flux, and has been riven since the 2016 referendum. People marching and demonstrating on Saturday were demanding a second vote on the final Brexit deal (if a final deal ever emerges. Goodness knows they’ve been negotiating for long enough and have only recently started to leak out some alarming details, should we tip over the cliff edge with no proper deal at all on 29th March.)

I wasn’t in London, I’d just come back from holiday, but I followed the events via Twitter and news media. And I’ve signed the People’s Vote petition. What struck me was the huge amount of good will that seemed to be around. People of all ages were cooperating. It made for moving, heart-warming reading and viewing.

Italian psychologist Roberto Assagioli – a contemporary of Jung – focused on the use of the will. Assagioli’s work is often called “a psychology with a soul”. He would most certainly have supported the People’s Vote march; he went to prison for his views and attitudes during WW2.

Assagioli outlined three identifiable expressions of will:

The strong will, where determination and persistence are engaged to reach an aim or goal. Strength of purpose and a clear outcome are sought, and there may be a rigidity of focus too. Hard Brexit?

The skilful will, where we’re prepared to deviate from a straight line or pathway to a desired goal, acknowledging that we may have to shift position, change and alter expectations along the way. The skill is not to lose sight of the goal, but to be prepared to make concessions and evolve with the situation along the way. What the People’s Vote was saying? Minds can be changed.

Then there’s good will, which can permeate both the strong and the skilful will by bringing openness, acceptability of the situation we find ourselves in and work to understand and include the viewpoints of others. With good will, much can be achieved. There are good feelings, an ambient atmosphere and meaningful connections with others are made.

Good will is one of those qualities that we recognise we when we experience it, but it’s hard to describe. There was a lot of it about on that march, and it’s that kind of thing which makes me feel proud to be British. Don’t let’s lose sight of it – we need it to help us out of the hole we’re in.

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