Building Strong Cohesive Communities; Establishing Order in the Society with Promotion of Common Good
Jesus V. Sison, PTRP, CRFV Deputy National Director
Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
It was early in the morning as fishermen are about to return from the sea to mend their nets after toiling all night without catching any fish. Suddenly, Jesus, the Good Master appeared along the shore and directed them to launch their nets on the right side of their boats. It was a miracle of catching an enormous number of fishes and yet the nets won’t break. After having their breakfast with the Master, He asked one of the fishermen if he loves Him more than all the bounty and great things they witnessed that day. The obvious answer was “Yes, You know I love You.” With that, a command was given to feed the lambs and the sheep. God Himself desired that every person experience His miracles, for every human being was designed to be blessed and not be cursed; created to take care of the creation and to bring in order. In doing so, He blessed and provided for everyone but with a stern reminder that men and women everywhere must take care of others. Blessed to be a blessing, strengthened to strengthen, loved to love, cared for to take care of others.
In interconnected and cohesive communities, societal order is established because people trust each other, helps one another, able to work together, feel part of a communal identity and practice shared values to generate a common good. Even among multicultural societies, once members of that society lay aside selfish ambitions that are detrimental to relationships; as they shut down greedy motives and self-serving intentions; instead, respect, honor and think of how to make or help others be better-off, promotion of common good becomes evident. In turn, these societies tend to be more contented, happier, more progressive and peaceful.
Moreover, promotion of common good leads us to have meaningful lives and become fulfilled individuals as it is "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily" . Thus, we have to rediscover who we are, our vocation as citizens and our respective roles in our community. The value of the common good, to which every facet of social life must be associated stems from the dignity, unity and equality of all people. In rediscovering who we are and what is our purpose, common good teaches us to seek what’s best for everyone, beginning with the last, the least, the lost, the most vulnerable, the marginalized and the most forgotten.
Common good does not consist in the simple sum and contribution of the particular goods and materials of each person. It also includes actions and ideas that is oriented to bring about progress of other people. Actions that are voluntary, not demanded and generous engagement of a citizen in social interchange. Common good consequently calls that all must participate, each according to his position and role. This responsibility is integral in the dignity of the human person. Simple acts are achieved first of all by taking charge of the areas for which one assumes personal responsibility: by taking care of his/her own family, by conscientious work in his/her workplace, and so forth, the man and/or the woman participates in the good of others and of community. It therefore results to order in our society that is “founded on truth, built up in justice, and animated by love".
When the Lord Jesus Christ taught people to love their neighbors as themselves and treat others as they would be treated, He was teaching people to seek the Common Good.
When Saint Paul said, “Do not seek your own personal interests alone, but also the interests of others,” he was teaching the Common Good.
When Saint John said, “Since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another,” he was teaching the Common Good.
When Jesus, our Lord and Savior said, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me,” He was inviting us to seek the Common Good.
Common good is not about pulling down individuality or suppressing divergence, but recognizing the importance of interconnectivity and social bonds for the flourishing of every citizen. It includes the appreciation of the value in citizens coming together to carefully ponder on the meaning of a just and humane society. When we encourage civically-minded, active and responsible citizenship in the ideals of the common good, we find fulfillment as human beings.
In the midst of flourishing individualistic, self-indulgent, egotistic and meritocratic forms of human success, an emphasis on the common good can help restore social order as there will be trust, justness, sincerity, dignity, respect, mutuality, service to others, and humility.
As this message came to prophet Zechariah from the Almighty God: “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other. We then loved one another and lived to promote common good.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.