Tasked with publicising Recycling Johnson, I’ve been trawling Dr. Johnson’s collected works in an attempt to find a phrase, passage or quotation which encapsulates Phil and Sheena Davies’s herculean efforts to raise money for Get Into Reading. Their sponsored cycle around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is an immense undertaking, far surpassing anything I could ever imagine being able to do myself (partly because, embarrassingly enough, I can’t actually ride a bike).
After a lengthy detour, in which I mulled over 18th century attitudes to charity and tried to find a connection between Johnson’s Sermon IV and sponsored bike rides (unsurprisingly, with little success), I came across this fantastic quotation which, I think, describes Phil and Sheena’s efforts perfectly:
“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”
Whilst Phil and Sheena will no doubt need a little strength to cycle 504 miles in two weeks, what they’ll need most of all is perseverance by the bucket load. When it rains (as it inevitably will), when their legs ache, or a slope is just that little bit too steep, I’m sure their powers of endurance will be tested. But, as Dr. Johnson himself declared, the performance of a great work requires perseverance, and, I think we can all agree, Phil and Sheena’s tremendous efforts to support Get Into Reading are definitely a little bit great.
To support Phil and Sheena, please visit their charity giving page and give as much as you can towards Get Into Reading.