To the editor,

Although there is much divisiveness in our nation and community, I have hope that we can grow into a culture that values working together and prides itself in looking out for one another. We are only as strong as our weakest members.

As a teacher, in my elementary classroom, I strive to build a community that does what’s best for everyone. We work hard so every child can succeed. We are a team, a family, and we will work for the common good. I am sad to say that I don’t witness that sentiment in our wider community.

Common good is, in part, defined as;

That which benefits society as a whole, in contrast to the private good of individuals and sections of society. The notion of the common good is a denial that society is and should be composed of atomized individuals living in isolation from one another. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021)

Our greatest achievements as a nation are measured by their impact on society as a whole. What actions are remembered and revered? Not actions by individuals to increase their own wealth and celebrity. We appreciate actions that impact the daily reality of everyday citizens. I aim to raise children who see value in helping others. Children who will even understand the value in sacrificing a bit of their own wants and needs for the health and safety of their fellow citizens.

We are shooting ourselves in the foot with our demands for freedom, above and beyond what we are already so fortunate to have. Many are actively working to tear down our school system, government, and institutions. For what? There doesn’t seem to be anything in mind for their replacement. What happens when there is no fire department to save your house? What happens when our children are not able to read and write? What happens when there are no parks for enjoyment? What happens when you get sick and go to the hospital and all of your doctors are trained on YouTube? What many are loudly screaming for is not a reality anyone would truly want to live in.

Making choices to benefit the common good doesn’t have to come at a cost to our individual freedom. The privileges we value most in our society cannot coexist with selfish, individualistic values. We must come together.

Andrea Graham

Lake Mills

Recommended for you