Monday, June 1, 2015
Working for the Common Good
In the Peace Column of the Peace Weekly, the columnist doesn't know if it is his lack of knowledge, but he is not happy with the present government nor was he with the past one. He has bad memories of both; same problems exist as in the past.
Just a few weeks ago we had the suicide of three unmarried sisters in their late twenties and early thirties who had lost their jobs.We were supposed to have change; they did make plans but nothing changes. Can we say the government is incompetent?
Why is this the situation we face? The reality is the politics we have. What do we mean by politics? The dictionary gives us two meanings. Strict meaning is managing the government, sustain and exercise the powers of government in order that the citizens may lead a decent life; mutual understanding of one another that brings order into society.
The problem is with those managing the government. They have been given the authority to bring happiness into the lives of the citizens, but it is difficult to see. The opposition party is not much different; they are continually in factional fighting.
In a broader sense of the word politics as explained in a book for elementary school children: a way of enabling the different opinions and squabbling to come to an amicable conclusion. We have different dispositions, come from different environments, different ways of thinking; conflicts are inevitable. With dialogue and compromising, and coming to an harmonious solution is what politics is about. In our country the ability to compromise and communicate is deficient. If one doesn't agree with one side they become an enemy.
This is not only true in politics but this factionalism can be see in many other areas of life: regional conflicts, social status, rich and poor divide-- factionalism is an element of our culture.
He concludes the article blaming the failure to understand the meaning of the 'common good' as the basic problem. With this lack of understanding we are not negotiating a true agreement, but merely temporarily pasting the issues together but in short order they separate again.