For the Common Good

What is the common good? The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy say that the common good “refers to those facilities—whether material, cultural or institutional—that the members of a community provide to all members in order to fulfill a relational obligation they all have to care for certain interests that they have in common.” Put more simply, it is whatever is for the benefit or interests of all.

Why does it matter now? Because it affects our entire society. Examples of common goods include an accessible and affordable public health care system, an effective system of public safety and security, peace among the nations of the world, a just legal and political system, an unpolluted natural environment, and a flourishing economic system. Now, as we struggle to envision a post-lockdown world, is the time to address what is needed for the common good. What do we want this new world to look like?

If the global epidemic has taught us anything it is that we all affect each other, in ways large and small. From the smallest, individual decision whether or not to wear a mask, to the growing referendum for universal healthcare, or marching to end police brutality so that all members of the community feel safe, what we as individuals decide impacts our society. The decisions made by our corporations affect the common good as well. Do they promote a responsible social agenda, or contribute to environmental problems? Do they support their workers with a fair living wage and benefit, or do they favor profit over people? Is there a way to have both?

As we simultaneously re-open society and face the prospect of a second wave of Covid 19, we have a chance to rethink what we want from our society, to identify what was working and is worth keeping, and what was lacking. with massive unemployment does it make sense to have health benefits tied to a job? Do corporations that contribute to global warming bear responsibility to shareholders or to the larger society? Does an individual have the right to skip wearing a mask if it endangers others?

 

Image credit: Wikipedia.org


How Your Diet Affects Your Immune System

This is a hard time to watch what you eat, much less be on a diet. People are stuck inside the house, farmer’s markets are closed, and the desire to fill up on comfort food is strong. Unfortunately, the same virus that has us locked up and stressed out makes it more urgent than ever that we carefully monitor what we are putting into our bodies. Your diet affects your immune system, and if you want to stay healthy and give yourself the best shot at defeating Covid-19, you must give your body the best tools for the fight.

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