Community for Justice

18 Jun

For homework, we read, “Justice and the Common Good” by Michael Sandel. Sandel’s main argument is that individuals need to dialogue with one another about one’s personal morals and values in order to have a just society.  Sandel mentions, “A more robust public engagement with our moral disagreements could provide a stronger; not a weaker, basis for mutual respect.  Rather than avoid the moral and religious convictions that our fellow citizens bring to public life, we should attend to them more directly—sometimes by challenging and contesting them, sometimes by listening to and learning from them” (268).  This statement is important to me because it acknowledges the reality that differences and disagreements exist.  Instead of looking at it as something that takes away from the community, he says that it helps others learn, forming an empathetic community.

While reading this article, there was also another quote that resonated with me: “If a just society requires a strong sense of community, it must find a way to cultivate in citizens a concern for the whole, a dedication to the common good.” I think community is something very powerful and a benefit to society as a whole but also individuals.  The first definition of Community says that it’s a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.  According to Sandel, the characteristic that holds a community together is the responsibility for one another in terms of the common good.  As I reflect on the idea of community, I realized that many people have multiple communities that they identify with.  I wonder if this is a good thing or is it reinforcing barriers and segregation between different social groups…

I made the connection to my service this Summer by living with people who also share a dedication in restoring the dignity of others in the community.  All of us are working at different non-profit sites and focusing on various challenges that people are facing in the community.  I think I enjoy going to work as much as I do because I feel a great sense of community with my co-workers, and I see the community and safe space that the seniors have created amongst themselves.

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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in 2014 Rachel Gacerez


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