Action for the Common Good
My cousin Eduardo Gonzalez recently described an image of Puerto Rico that accurately despicts the main challenge we face. Puerto Rico is like a boat with each side rowing in opposite directions so that the boat is going around in circles. In the center of that boat we have the latest elected captain (governor) trying to break that viscious circling or cycle. Others have said that we are like a ship with the one’s who lost jumping off and tying or anchoring the boat so as to ensure that the ship does not move forward.
I have recently listened to a number of conversations wherein those favoring the outgoing party are debating whether to give the incoming administration a chance or whether to bail out (sell their business and move to the United States) or just hunker down with great pessimism, non-involvement and may be even active sabotage of the new administration’s program.
Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is not the only country suffering this malady. In the US, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky said in 2010, and I quote, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” In other words, we want to be the captain of the ship next time, regardless of the ill-will created and the damage to the country. Ironically, assuming the strategy works so that my captain is elected next time around, this attitude and strategy will most probably ensure that the new captain of the ship will inherit a damaged economy and society and a new sabotaged captain making the ship’s progress improbable.
Can we set aside our partisan and status differences in order to work for the common good? That is the question and the challenge. I hope and pray that we meet this challenge and I urge each of you to see what you can meaningfully do for the common good in the different public or private roles available to you.