Do we see the value of using the ‘lens’ of the common good as one of the major considerations we take into account as we make sense of the complexity of our thoughts, words and actions?
In answering that question it may lead you to want to develop your own basic meaning for the common good.
Abraham Maslow, a renowned psychologist, saw the necessities of people lives – such as the needs for: air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, safety, security, stability and others as basic. He proposed a theory that states that these specific kinds of requirements of life are primary to all humans. His theory goes on to say that humans also have real needs for: family, affection, relationships, achievement, status, responsibility, opportunities to develop knowledge, meaning and self-awareness, and many more needs as further requirements for a healthy life when the basics such as food and drink are met. Could it be that, for you, the common good may have something to do with all people having a right to meet their individual basic needs?
Other threats to the world and to all of us people on it might include the potential of: nuclear war, a conventional war, a pandemic of major scale, the acidification of the oceans, global warming or the potential fallout from a super volcano leading to the light and warmth from our sun being blocked from earth.
Could it be that, for you, the common good may also have something to do with finding ways to respond to, deal with and/or predict the kinds of potential treats mentioned in the last paragraph?
Some might say that working toward supporting the common good is purely an act of wasted energy. There may be some people that would call a person who is trying to impact the common good a ‘dreamer’ because they (the folks working for the common good) are unrealistic.
I am proud to be a dreamer.
Dreams provide a focus for our actions. Dreams offer direction for our energy. Dreams can uncover possibility.
Gandhi asks, “What does it matter if people look upon us as dreamers?”
I say that it is time to dream: time to dream about a brighter future for all of mankind as individuals. It is time to dream about a better world. It is time to dream about bettering ourselves as we relate to others, and bettering our communities (locally and globally) for all. Yes, it is time to dream and to follow your dreams with action!
I believe that the dream of serving the common good is a potentially powerful and useful focus for a each of us as we contribute to the fabric of life that is being woven.
I am a gardener.
I spend time with seeds and the dynamics of seeds. I have learned somethings about seeds.
Not all seeds planted will germinate.
Not all that germinate will survive.
Not all of the eatable food that may be produced will be eaten by humans – ground hogs, deer, rabbits, racoons,etc. may get to it first.
And, on and on . . .
The point is that planting seeds is not an assurance of being able to enjoy a bountiful harvest.
I still plant seeds.
Ours deeds are not guarantees of preferred outcomes. Just like planted seed do not all become food for people.
I still take care in the quality and focus of my deeds.
As we work toward change, how we work matters.
If we are committed to something then our deeds matter.