The Common Good Vs. Individual Liberties
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Common Good Vs. Individual Liberties

Finding balance.

12891
The Common Good Vs. Individual Liberties

Life is all about balance.

We work throughout our lives to achieve a balance between school and our social lives, work and our personal relationships, and everything in-between. To be honest, for most of us, it is extremely difficult to find balance in life, but we are always aiming for this goal. There is one very important type of balance that we as people need to start concerning ourselves with more than we currently are. This is the balance between the common good and our individual liberties.

We as people do not live exclusively independent of each other; we need each other to really get ahead. No person can truly survive independently, and for this reason, we live in communities, which are basically groups of people with common values and interests. The common good or working toward the common good is when those in the community come together and do things that benefit or are in the best interests of everyone in the community. Individual liberties have to do with our individual freedoms within a community or a person's rights that cannot be trampled upon by any authority.

When thinking about liberties, there are positive liberties, which are the “capacity” to do something, and negative liberties, which are “freedom" from something. In our society today, people value their individual liberties as much more important than the common good, and for this reason, true community no longer exists. People use the idea of freedom of speech to spew their racist and bigoted thoughts into the world, thus promoting hatred between peoples who otherwise, would be able to live together peacefully. True integration will never be possible when people use their “freedom of speech” to spread hatred between groups of people.

Although people want to live in “peace,” nobody wants to take responsibility for their part of the chaos. Nobody wants to put aside their differences and work towards a common good because everyone thinks that their best interest is the common good. Nobody cares about the common good anymore if it even inches close to their individual freedoms. Although people hate the fact that someone dies of gun violence almost every second in this country, the common good will never prevail if all those Mr. John Does in the middle of nowhere believe their right to easily purchase guns from Wal-Mart is more important than dead children. There will never be true progress towards a common good until people start thinking less about themselves and more about the community. If politicians in Flint actually thought about the children rather than themselves, would there still be a water crisis over there? The problem is magnified when those in power work for private interests rather than the greater good.

It is time for everyone, especially those in positions of power, to take a step back and assess themselves. It is time for people to start thinking, "Have I been working towards the common good? What is the common good? Are my personal thoughts and opinions poisonous to my community, and what are the reasons for these thoughts I harbor? Are they fact or are they fiction?"

This is a society of people, which makes it inherently imperfect and susceptible to being tainted by people. This balance between common good and individual freedom has more importance than one may be willing to realize.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

3857
Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

3496

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

3427
10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

9981
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments