Common Ground

Aug 31, 2011 by

Part of the dilemma of solving problems, and making good policy using reason, is finding common ground. There are three steps in this process. The first is acknowledging our common humanity. We are all human, equal and free. The moment we become connected to one another begins our journey towards virtue. We might not be able to empathize, but we can surely sympathize with each others problems and struggles. That understanding is one of our greatest strengths. If we are going to change the hearts and minds of people, it is going to be because we are connected and take action to voluntarily do the good.

Second, is the desire to know, so we can use that knowledge to do the good. We were not given the great tool of reason to keep caged, but to let it free. It also follows that what is reasonable has to be good for everyone. That is the point of understanding our common humanity. So, anything that we can reason must benefit the community. This is our nature.

The third step is to use reason to find principles which guide our lives. Only then will we move forward to fulfill our function and do the good of the community. This is where the problems begin. We choose to deny our nature. Why, because we are capable of the greatest good as well as the greatest evil. Until we realize that we are all capable of these two extremes, and anything in between, it is paramount that we be vigilant in our thoughts and actions.

To enact good policy we must be guided by these steps. This is where politicians fail and where statesmen succeed. By denying our nature, policy becomes arbitrary, lacking connection to the people represented, ill planned, devoid of principle, and harmful. We are political in nature because people like to be part of something greater than themselves. Political communities provide that possibility. Politicians crave power and use it as a weapon against the people. They are interested in controlling the process for personal gain. They lack connection. Statesman understand that serving the community is a duty and a privilege. They are connected because they realize that the best guide in using power is to know when not to use it! GET CONNECTED!

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