For the Common Good: Unleashing the Power of Passion, Purpose& Hope
Why common good matters
‘Only by inspiring a spiritual and practical commitment to the common good can we help make our common life better.’
There is an ancient idea that we have lost, but can and should find again. It’s called simply the common good. It goes back many centuries, but the need for a new dialogue about what it means and what its practice would require of us has never seemed more critical.
But what is the Common Good? A Brief Introduction
Notions of the Common Good have been central to conceptions of society since Plato and Aristotle, and have been described in fairly consistent ways since then. There has been general agreement that the search for “…the common good is disciplined yearning, deliberation, judgment, and action in concrete realization of the best, most choiceworthy way to live” and that “Its most basic meaning is that the community and its institutions should serve the good of all its citizens and not just the restricted good of a particular ruler or class.”
Put more simply, the Common Good is advanced when society’s institutions, including foundations, operate in the interests of the broadest possible swath of people.
In short, the Common Good is much more than the aggregate of individual goods and accomplishments. Rather, it reflects both the morality and the enlightened self-interest that allows institutions across society to operate so that all might enjoy a life of justly and humanely distributed resources, rewards, responsibilities and obligations.
The Journey to Build a Better World for the Common Good