Integrate Magazine

Raise your perspective. Wake up your ideals.

The Common Good #19 – Leadership

Most of the community are busy in dealing with their mysteries of life. This is the reason that the community establish individuals to lead their institutions. While some leaders have the quality and ability to learn how to be effective leaders. leadership goes beyond execution and efficiencies. Leadership is a vision of the future, the ability to articulate this to the community, and the responsibility to ensure the resources exist to make it happen.

Leadership is not a given. You are not born with it and it is more than the characteristics we proscribe onto leadership. You may be in charge, this does not mean you are a leader or have leadership qualities. Leadership is Mother Teresa guidance “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples”!

The Common Good #18 – Institutions

Institutions are the means for creating and sustaining the common good. Institutions are the aggregate organizations such as government, commercial firms, faith communities, social structures, and communities. Institutions are also the customs, laws, practices, that are accepted as guidelines or paradigms that impact the common good. Thus, institutions are the rules that govern behavior and promote or constrain the common good. Socio-economic circumstances determine the degree to which you ensure the integrity of the common good.

Change is an evolutionary process of growth or decline of human-centric activity. After all, the reason for these social interactions is human relationships. Relationships are the cause of growth or strife. When institutions official or unofficial get out of sync with the reality of change, this causes conflict. It is imperative that you understand the purpose of an institution whether it is a government or traditions. When the changing environment threatens the purpose, it is essential that you step back and get a new perspective. Continuing to behave because it is how we do things, is not only irrational but harmful to the common good.

In complex societies, institutional leadership is necessary. Leaders exist because their constituents give them power. Their power exists because we allow it. The integrity of the common good, involves all people within a specific domain. When institutions via their leadership are out of sync with reality, the common good is in danger. You have the power, to hold leaders responsible for the viability of the common good. You do this by voting or boycotting a specific institution. Even better, you do this by becoming actively involved in being a change agent.

The Common Good #17 – Adversity

The damage caused by the hurricanes Harvey and Irma are lessons in the reason and purpose of the common good. The damage of these weather conditions is not selective. The entire population of the storm areas is impacted. Your socio-economic circumstances do not matter. While it impacts many more seriously, the consequences are relative to everyone. The common goods extend beyond daily life, to the greater community. Rescue, cleanup, and restoration relies on many institutions (especially government) to respond to disasters. You never know when and where this will happen.

These times reaffirm the need understand the common good as a communal enterprise. It is essential that we have the resources to meet these unplanned crises. The tendency to complain or demonize institutions, must be reappraises within the context of the unexpected. If something is not working fix it! Nature has a way of reminding us of our interdependence. In complex societies, it is necessary to ensure that the infrastructure and organizations are positioned to overcome these types of adversities.

The Common Good #16 – Consequences

We live in a global community – what you and others do has consequences. Ignoring this reality will not change it!

There will always be those who seek their own good at the expense of others. They get away with it by distracting you! They are artful magicians but not for your wellbeing.

The free press is essential to protecting the common good. The press protects you by telling the truth. The integrity of truth is by presenting facts and not opinions. A free press serves the common good. Facts do not need political balance, because they are facts. Distorting the facts is nothing more than opinions or propaganda.

Government is for the people and by the people. It has no other purpose. However, people need to keep it that way – this is the essential meaning of democracy – your ability to vote. Never allow yourself to be distracted, isolated, or ignorant of the facts. When you allow others and your fears lose sight of the common good, the consequences are not good.

The Common Good #15 – Harvey

There is no better illustration of the common good, than watching people respond to the problems caused by Hurricane Harvey. The greatest example of the common good plays out in the storm areas. Most visible is  Houston – neighbors, strangers, bring their boats rescuing people – THIS IS THE COMMON GOOD. It is not necessary to go any further – no one was grandstanding. People putting themselves in harm’s way – to help – no differentiation among the workers – just taking care of those in need.

The Common Good #13 – Hate

The greatest threat against the common good is hatred. A part of any society, is filled with hatred, because of fear. Instead of looking for solutions, they allow their demons to shift responsibility by blaming others for their circumstances. Their negative energy digs a deeper grave of desolation. We repeat history, because we lack visceral understanding. Reading about the holocaust is no substitute for watching it live.

Ghouls take advantage of the seething hate, disguising themselves as solutions. These charlatans using dog whistles, promising delivery to safer times. Fear and anxiety overshadow the warning signs of their real agenda. Ultimately out of desperation hate follows these leaders. Once they gain power, and surround themselves with people of like minds – they win! We are watching in the present, historical events that sabotage the common good.

The majority ensures the integrity of the common good, by being involved.

The Common Good #12 – Persona

Persona is derived from Latin meaning a theatrical mask portraying the character in a play. A news story this morning, exposed my myopic view of a group’s persona. It made me aware that we judge others by what we want them to be, not who they are. We all present our persona during communications.

Take the opportunity to avoid judgment, by suspending your filters. When you do this, you find that each persona is a multi-faceted prism. These prisms are a mixture of differences and agreements. Diversity is how you see the other persona – individual or group. Rather than good or evil, you see a horizon. These horizons create new relationships, which strengthen the common good.

The Common Good #10 – Global Citizens

Today we live in a 24/7 global environment. Space exploration will extend this reality to galaxy citizenship. This is the momentum of history. It is impossible to put the genie back into the bottle. Isolation and nationalism will not alter the course of human history. The international space programs have shattered the flat earth theory. This is an epochal moment in human history, and we need to prepare for this eventuality. Change is frightening, if you avoid understanding this reality. You prepare for the future by reimagining the present.

Commerce is the common denominator for socio-economic progress. The ancient navigators, sea explorers, and colonization – commerce was the purpose resulting in the interconnectivity of the globe. However, in this era, we need new rules of engagement. We are far away from a global government. To avoid chaos and colonization aberrations, we need effective and fair trade agreements. The practical approach is Free Trade Agreements. The reality is that change is a constant, and Free Trade Agreements need to be monitored and adjusted to fit the circumstances of change.

Retreating from the world, is allowing other to dictate the terms. The common good is served by implementing sustainable commercial agreements. Each agreement must have a built-in change component. In a global environment, the world is not going to stop and wait – someone always fills a vacuum.

The Common Good #09 – Community

The common good exists within a community environment. Responsibility for your community is of the upmost importance. The welfare, security, and progress depends on each members’ contribution to the community. Ultimately, this symbiotic relationship impacts you. Thus, your actions will benefit you. The health of the community is essentially your personal health.  When you build up the community you reap the benefits.

This is not rocket science – mutual respect, trust, and interest is the common good. In a 24/7 global environment, you become a member of a larger community. No longer do you have the luxury of isolation. The butterfly effect is not an imaginary thing. You begin with your local community, but you must begin to think in terms of the global community. The is the reality of the 21st century – ignoring this reality, has severe consequences.

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