What Is the Common Good, Who Controls It, and Why Is It Difficult to Define?

Nurturing harmony: exploring the fragile essence of the common good.

Darren Stehle
Queering The Way
Published in
8 min readOct 1, 2023

--

Photo by Volkan Olmez / Unsplash

How can we define a common good for all people while cultivating and accepting differences?

Let’s start with what the common good is not about.

The common good is not a fairy tale or a classic story of good triumphing over evil. The common good is more like a steady stream, gradually eroding obstacles that lay naturally in its path. It doesn’t seek balance between good and bad, but rather explores the space in between.

Have You Ever Heard of the “Common Bad”?

As an expression, “The common good” is problematic.

Good versus bad is a binary. These polarities cannot exist or be understood except in relation to each other. Nor is there an exact middle or balance between the two. Balance is also an illusion in that it is never fixed, but rather an action.

Imagine a teeter-totter on a children’s playground.

Watch two children playing in a playground on a teeter-totter, up and down, playfully trying to find a perfect balance when they are both feet…

--

--

Darren Stehle
Queering The Way

Empowering change-makers in critical thinking: Align with your values, develop self-mastery, and contribute to an equitable & just society. DarrenStehle.com