A New Vision for the Future
A deep and lively shift is taking place within our South Phoenix (SoPho) community. I am positive it started well before I was born but it now appears to have taken root and I am hopeful it will continue its trajectory and impact. That very important shift is the growth in the number of men, women and children taking action for the common good.
So what is the common good? The best and most comprehensive definition I found was written by recently named Roman Pontiff Emeritus Benedict XVI.
“To love someone is to desire that persons good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society. The common good. It is the good of “all of us”, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society. It is a good that it is sought, not for its own sake, but for the people who belong to the social community and who can only really and effectively pursue their good within it.”
He goes on to say; “To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. To take a stand for the common good is, on the one hand, to be solicitous for and, on the other hand, to avail oneself of that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically, and culturally making it the polis, or “city”. The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them.”
I remember even in my darkest days growing up in some of the most extreme pockets of poverty in SoPho always seeing glimpses of people making the effort for the common good. Today the efforts for the common good permeate throughout our community. I have seen it daily in our schools, places of business, on the streets, in our churches and most importantly in the homes of our friends and family.
If these present developments are any indications of our future, I can only imagine that SoPho will emerge as a community that is far more resilient, charitable, diverse and compassionate than anything we could have ever imagined. My hope is that
you will use this article to orient yourself with our emerging community in its current form and if you so choose, jump in and emerge with it. There are definitely more needs in our community and there is room enough for everyone. We must engage our neighbors directly and authentically, treating all as equals, regardless of their race, age, gender, religion, nationality, or economic class.
Arizona’s State motto is “Ditat Deus,” “God enriches.” We indeed have sufficient proof in our community of that enrichment: in the beauty of our mountain, city and river landscapes and in the diversity and giftedness of our community. Our continued commitment to the common good will dictate our destiny and help us fulfill our full potential.