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Rona Barrett: ' Order to form a more perfect Union...'

Rona Barrett: ' Order to form a more perfect Union...'

From the What you need to know for Thursday, October 8 series
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Rona Barrett's Gray Matters: 'Frustration always comes before achievement'

Rona Barrett

Life just isn’t the same right now, is it? It’s just one thing after another to have to cope with. Everything is so much more complicated than ever. It’s all very overwhelming. Don’t you wish we could all just go back to our good ole days when we had everything figured out?

Well, you know as well as I know that’s not going to happen.

So, the question becomes: What can we do to alleviate this turmoil to help us regain our ability to contribute to our country’s “common good”?

You remember common good from your long-ago civics class, don’t you?

Some examples of common good from include: “the road system; public parks; police protection and public safety; courts and the judicial system; public schools; museums and cultural institution; public transportation; civil liberties, such as the freedom of speech and the freedom of association; the system of property; clean air and clean water; and national defense.”

Here’s what says is the best definition of common good: “The advantage or benefit of all people in society or in a group. Here’s how to use it in a sentence: In spite of our differences, we shall work for the common good.”

Sounds good and logical, doesn’t it?

Here’s what www.britannica has to say on the subject: “The notion of the common good has been a consistent theme in Western political philosophy, most notably in the work of Aristotle, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It has been most clearly developed in the political theory of republicanism, which has contended that the common good is something that can only be achieved through political means and the collective action of citizens participating in their own self-government. At the same time, the notion of the common good has been closely bound up with the idea of citizenship, a mutual commitment to common goods and the value of political action as public service. Therefore, it has played a prominent role in the defense of republican constitutional arrangements, notably the defense of the Constitution of the United States in the Federalist papers.”

And speaking of the Constitution, remember the Preamble? “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

“The stated goal is to create a government that will meet the needs of the people” says the National Constitution Center, an online site offering opportunities to learn more up close and personal about the greatest document the world has ever produced.

There’s so much more information out there and I sincerely hope you’ll take the time and effort to explore all options including the Internet, reading books, listening to relevant podcasts, and watching informational TV programs. That way we will all be prepared to answer the question:

What can we do to alleviate this turmoil to help us regain our ability to contribute to our country’s common good? We will answer:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union...” will VOTE.

Until next time ... keep thinking the good thoughts.

The Rona Barrett Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is the driving force behind the Golden Inn & Village (GIV). With their partner, the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County, they offer the area’s first affordable senior living facility. GIV strives to bring services to seniors so they may age in place. Reach her at Visit for more information.


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