For the past few months, we’ve published a review of sorts on the founding principles of the Stewardship Foundation—Our Credo. Each starts with the words, “We believe…”
We believe… in transformational giving.
We believe… that giving is a collaborative act between the donor, the charity, and their God.
We believe… that transformational giving is not about the bottom line, but about the heart.
We believe… that transformational giving creates partnerships that impact entire communities.
We believe… in the sanctity of human life, marriage and sexual morality, and religious freedom and the rights of conscience.
We believe… that it is our responsibility to care for the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, and to use our talents for the betterment of mankind through education, opportunity and freedom.
What is not on the list is believing in the common good. Why is that?
We do believe that leaders should think beyond their own interests and work toward a better society — a better world. Some may say that leaders should always seek results in the greater good. But is that really the right thing to do?
The greater good is often referred to as social responsibility vs profit, or a moral obligation to give to the poor. In either case, it involves organizations or individuals making value decisions on what is preferable in society. Virtue-signaling is a recent example of attempts to sway those decisions.
The common good, on the other hand, is a bedrock concept in Catholic Social Teaching, dating back centuries. The concept takes into account the natural worth of all human beings and focuses on guiding our decisions towards actions that promote justice and goodness for all. Leave no one behind. Some people are not—temporarily or permanently—in a position to voice their concerns, express their opinion, or lobby for their own good, e.g., the unborn, the poor, the sick, the disabled, children, the destitute. Catholic Social Teaching defines ways of putting the common good into action in concrete ways. It is our Christian duty to be the voice for the voiceless as well as our own, to be the hands for the powerless as well as our own, to lobby for God’s justice for all.
Let us focus not so much on the “greater good” but rather the “common good”—the justice and righteousness of the Lord, Our Almighty.
We believe…that the common good is manifested in life and dignity, given freely to us because we are all made in the image of our Creator.