The definition of common good describes the benefits or interest of all, especially the community both local and global where you are a part of it. This philosophy goes back to ancient Greece. In a nutshell, it means that everyone must act, to achieve justice and security as active and participating citizens. This concept means that sometimes-parochial interest must be flexible in order to ensure the common good.

In a complex society, it is impossible to avoid the common good. We all depend on each other. Ignoring this reality is the flat earth mentality. The common good does not reach the level of a communal and sharing community such as a monastic society. It does mean respect for others. That everyone in a socio-economic sphere has the fundamental rights of security and justice. It does not mean wealth distribution. It does mean that we contribute to the community in such a way that the individuals within the community have a fair shake at living a decent life.

There will always be the marginalized. There are those whose physical or mental circumstances prevent them from a productive life. A person looks at life that way. A person’s warped worldview makes them feel entitled. A certain percentage of the population and the community will always fall into this category. You must understand that these individuals will not participate in the common good philosophy. Do not take this anomaly of a minority to apply to an entire group or culture.

Those who do not fall into the entitlement mentality are the majority. However, it does not mean that this majority has an effective perspective on the meaning of the common good. The bottom line is that we depend on each other. As the world is now a 24/7, reality and you can sit in your living room and see the devastation of an earthquake on the other side of the world. This 24/7 global and virtual presence in your world eliminates space and time. Thus, you must develop a healthy perspective on the meaning of the common good. That now the world is our community. Besides citizens of a particular nation, we are citizens of the world.

You must begin somewhere, and the effective way is to begin locally. If you cannot appreciate the concept of the common good in your neighborhood, you will never achieve this on a global basis. This is an unpresented time in human history. It presents the unknown and this naturally leads to anxiety and fear. Begin at home, your local community and understand the meaning of the common good. By the way, the common good always includes you.