What we say, do, or do not say or do has an impact. This impact could be either positive or negative. In the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on what it is that holds us back from working together. What is it that holds us back from working together for the common good? Why do some people sabotage other people’s work? Why do we fail to see the bigger picture in what we say, do, or do not say or do? Why do we fail to focus on the results of our actions, reactions and inactions?
Common good has no single definition. Commonly, it is see as that which is beneficial for all or for most. The concept of common good was there in the writings of Plato and Aristotle 2,000 years ago. Today the concept is still applicable. In a family, an organization or in society, every member has a unique role. Ideally, that role seeks to achieve the common good for the family, organization or society. Achieving the common good is only possible when we pull together in the same direction. However, pulling together in the same direction is easier said than done. To pull together in the same direction, we need to have similar aspirations. Having similar aspirations helps us to know the direction that we should pull together towards. Don’t we all aspire better families, better organizations and better societies? If we do, why then, do we pull our families, our organizations and our societies in different directions?
Sometimes, we do not understand the circumstances. For instance, we might not understand that our customers are vital for our survival but we do understand that our customers bring in the revenues that organizations survive on. We might not understand that each person in our families plays a special role but we do understand that our families are made up of very unique individuals. We might not understand our role in the common good of our society but we understand that if we do not trash we will have a cleaner environment, if we do not bribe we will have a less corrupt society and if we do not hate there will be less hate. It is factual that we are on this earth only for a little while and while we are here, why not make a small positive impact to the common good? Most of us have the ability to leave a mark.
Whether in our families, at the workplace, in our neighborhoods or in the society, I believe that each one of us can make a difference. When we focus on the common good, we get to dialogue on issues with an open mind. To make the most out of our interactions with one another, we need to focus on what is beneficial to all or to most. In our organizations, we need to focus more on the health of our relationships with one another. Our attitude towards our customers and our company are also crucial. Our contribution to our organizations at large need to be felt. If we are the leaders, are we purposefully leading others do extraordinary things that have a positive impact? If we are on the frontline, are we serving with purpose and with zeal? If we all work together for the common good, we will have better families, better businesses and certainly a better Kenya for all!
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy