The choices of a lifetime
IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT ME. IT IS ABOUT US.
When discerning a goal or direction, we generally start with ourselves: “What should/must I do? How might God be calling me to go forward?” We start with the self because, frankly, that’s where we most deeply reside. The culture of this country has long found expression in the life, goals, dreams, and aspirations of its individuals. As former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once claimed: “There is no such thing as society. There are only individual men and women and their families.”
Most of human history would militate vigorously against that proposition. Early human communities valued the clan much higher than any of its members. In fact, the survival of any one person depended on the strength of the clan. Today in the United States, ignoring communal responsibility is costing us entire regions of the country that have been unable to fend for themselves against the greater forces that are reshaping global commerce. Clans like small farmers, coal miners, and factory workers lost the vigor they’d had in larger institutions that protected and supported them: committed extended families, close neighborhoods, local churches and schools, active chambers of commerce, robust unions. Without wraparound institutions to hold communities together and champion their common interests, industries collapsed, and so did the folks.
Catholic teaching insists the common good must be central to moral decision-making. Choosing what’s best for me alone encourages self-absorption, selfish ambition, greed, and senseless acquisition. In all of our major decisions, including vocation decisions and career and political choices, we must consider how what we do will affect not only ourselves and our families but the wider community of individuals and groups and the social conditions that allow them to thrive. As the Catechism states: "The dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life."
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications
Cullings from VISION Vocation Network
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