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medium_2907198746“Even in a society driven mad by the ideology of individualism, nearly all of us receive our basic moral formation in the family. It is there that we first learn to aim at common goals, to respect the needs of others, and to ensure that the “common good” is secured before we go very far toward acquiring whatever particular and personal goods we may desire.

“The first rule we learn in the family, or in groups of families, is to subdue our passions and share, which mitigates our innate weakness for having things all our own way. The second is to collaborate. The third is to subordinate our own interests to the common good as a basic condition for enjoying the benefits of social groups.

Once we recognize that families are the building blocks of society, we can see how foolish it is to attempt to improve the social order through ideologies and policies which focus almost exclusively on the individual. In fact, the marginalization of the family is always the very greatest threat to that foundational interior freedom which alone enables the common good to be properly perceived and achieved.”

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photo credit: conorwithonen