“Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Collect for ‘Labor Day’ BCP pg 261)
Not for self alone, but for the common good.
The common good seems to be less common these days. Myriad pundits, talking heads, and social media bloggers connect the loss of a sense and value of the common good with all the social, political, and personal dis-ease that seems to be accelerating in our world. Loneliness, anger, fear, depression, selfishness—all symptoms of broken links.
As we pause this Labor Day, I invite us to take some time for reflection on how our work serves the common good; and not just what we do to pay the bills, but how we volunteer our time, how we care for our family or community, how we give and strive for the mutual flourishing of all.
How are you laboring not for self alone, but for the common good?