Posted by: gcarkner | February 27, 2015

The (Un)Common Good The (Un)Common Good by Jim Wallis, Bestselling Author

In his important 2014 book The (Un)Common Good:How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided, Jim Wallis posts an epilogue of Ten Personal Decisions for the Common Good which relate strongly to the concept of a calling where human beings can flourish together. We highly recommend this book of solid, tangible vision. Wallis is one of the mature prophetic voices in our day. I find this book offers a great balance in the path of following Jesus and a close reading of Scripture. Wallis expands the horizons of the possible for believers

~Gordon E. Carkner Ph.D. Philosophical Theology

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1. If you are a father or a mother, make your children the most important priority in your life and build your other commitments around them. If you are not a parent, look for children who could benefit from your investment in their lives.

2. If you are married, be faithful to your spouse. Demonstrate your commitment with both your fidelity and your love. If you are single, measure your relationships by their integrity not their usefulness.

3. If you are a person of faith, focus on not just what you believe but on how you act on those beliefs. If you love God, ask God how to love your neighbour.

4. Take the place you live seriously. Make the context of your life and work the parish that you take responsibility for.

5. Seek to develop a vocation and not just a career. Discern your gifts as a child of God not just your talents, and listen for your calling rather than just looking for opportunities. Remember that your personal good always relates to the common good.

6. Make choices by distinguishing between wants and needs. Choose what is enough rather what is possible to get. Replace appetites with values, teach your children the same, and model those values for all who are in your life.

7. Look at the business, company, or organization where you work from an ethical perspective. Ask what its vocation is, too. Challenge whatever is dishonest or exploitive and help your place of employment do well by doing good.

8. Ask yourself what in the world  today most breaks your heart and offends your sense of justice. Decide to help to change that and join with others who are committed to transform that injustice.

9. Get to know who your political representatives are at both a local and national level. Study their policy decisions and examine their moral compass and public leadership. Make your public convictions and commitments known to them and choose to hold them accountable.

10. Since the difference between events and movements is sacrifice, which is also the true meaning of religion,  and what makes for social change, ask yourself what is important enough to give your life to and for.

Finding the integral relationship between your own personal and the common good is your best contribution to our future. And it is the best hope we have for a better life together. (Jim Wallis, The (Un)Common Good, pp. 297-8)

Gordon Carkner’s Talk on Charles Taylor and the Language of the Good

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