Fifth Reflection

The Common Good as a Goal

The interdependence of people grows and gradually spreads all over the world. Dependency in and of itself is not negative. We can learn from each other und through each other – like in a family. We are interwoven with each other as a human family through our being human and through our lives on this earth.

The unity of the human family requires a world-wide common good. What is this common good? It is something that concerns the lives of all and it isn`t just to be equated with happiness and prosperity. It is the sum total of those conditions of life, of society that enables both, groups and individuals to reach their own perfection more deeply and easily (see Gaudium et spes 26). The common good is about the fulfillment of my being human – in biblical language, my becoming incarnated. This is true for all people and we only become a human being through our interactions and relationships with others so we need to always look at everybody and at the same time at each individual. What is it that helps me to become a human being and accomplish my vocation/call in life?

Three requirements are crucial for this to happen:

  1. The unique dignity of each person with all her/his fundamental rights and duties must

    be respected. This dignity is an indestructible gift and cannot be earned nor can it be lost. We can only respect or disregard it. Two things belong to this dignity: to develop my vocation/call to become human with all that is needed to accomplish this and to live according to my conscience.

  2. The social well-being and the development of the community have to be guaranteed. Development is the incarnation of all social tasks. Without further development – personally and communally – no genuine growing into a human being is possible. We are always striving to do justice to the authentic demands of the whole human family.

  3. Finally, to the common good belongs peace, i.e. the durability and security of a just system. Without this security that my life is constantly threatened or unfairly restricted I cannot live, let alone unfold/grow myself. Situations of fear make me focus on my own (survival) and my focus towards the greater picture disappears before my eyes.

The view of the common good is the great horizon in which the individual person can develop as a human being and at the same time participate in the human development of others.


Just for reflection:

In what ways can broaden my horizon toward the common good? What can help me to become a better human being?