And, as posited by John Ralston Saul , our understanding of civilisation tends to be centred on a sense of shared destiny; on shared interests, collective purpose and a common future. Seemingly abstract, the idea of shared destiny is actually very familiar.
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Colloquially, we know this as the greater good or its synonyms: the public good or common good. It is currently unfashionable to think about ourselves as having shared interests, collective purpose and a common future. A corollary of this is that it is unfashionable to think and talk seriously about the greater good. As Bernard Salt recently noted, the power of the collective has subsided.
Yet this has not always been the case and may not remain so for much longer. Indeed, it is important to remember, as the late Tony Judt reminded us, that our current condition is an acquired, not a natural, one. Given this, it is salutary to reflect on the meaning of the greater good.
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After all, fortune favours the prepared mind. To illustrate, Plato imagined an ideal state in which private goods and nuclear families would be relinquished for the sake of the greater good of a harmonious society. Aristotle defined it in terms of a communally shared happiness, whose key constituents were wisdom, virtue and pleasure. More sustained engagement with the concept occurred in the 17th century with the rise of social contract theory.
This was a school of thought that we ought to forfeit our absolute freedom to live as we wish for the greater good of the security of shared life in a community. In the 20th century, the greater good received renewed impetus with the work of John Rawls. The most serious limitation of most historical ideas about the greater good is that they are silent on the greater good as it relates to non-humans and other natural systems.
Of course, the idea of the commons — collective goods to which all group members have free access — is an old one. Common goods e. Help me figure out what's up. Get to Great Fundraising Check-up Let us take a close look at what's working and what's not then help you bring in the dollars to serve your mission. I just need your advice. Greater Good Power Hours If you're looking for a few short meetings to get our input Emily and Shannon, Greater Good Strategy gave our multi-generational team of financial advisors the greatest gift — they listened, they got us, they saw us, they were present.
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Thanks to these increases, we can expect even more growth moving forward. Annie Lumerman, Sefaria.
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Emily and her team were just what we needed to engage younger customers. Their knowledge of digital marketing and influencer engagement helped us grow our social media following and overall digital presence with the millennial market. Michael Sands, Calvert Woodley. Emily is an absolute joy to work with and our customers and team love her.
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