Throughout her almost 70 year reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been a living embodiment of Christian values. From service to humility, the 94-year-old monarch has lived her life in accordance with the very best Christian virtues. And her commitment to the Christian spirit of community is no exception.
On the subject of working together for the common good, the Queen said this: "Whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load".
In a contemporary climate of self-interest and self-interest, the idea that we should consider the 'common good' of society is lost on many people. In an age where self-centred and often narcissistic 'influencers' are worshipped as the epitome of success, the idea of doing things for other people - without expectation of anything in return - is a radical one indeed!
Yet as we all go about obsessing over our personal appearance and worrying about our own lived, we forget the fundamental truth: we are stronger together. Human beings were not designed to live alone. No man is an island! Our earliest ancestors lived in tribes, which evolved into small communities centred around agriculture before - over many thousands of years - more complex societies and even countries began to emerge. Everything about our lives as human beings is social; from the moment we are born until the moment we die, we are utterly dependent on other people.
As Martin Luther King Jr once said, 'before you have finished breakfast in the morning, you have already depended on more than half of the world'. Everything we do depends on support and co-operation from other people. To quote Martin Luther King Jr once more, we are all caught in an 'inescapable network of mutuality'.
There is a Zulu phrase which I think encapsulates this spirit of community perfectly. It is 'ubuntu', which translates as 'I am, because you are'. This reflects on our common humanity and the fact that we are only who we are because of other people. We cannot survive - never mind thrive - if we are on our own! As a result, co-operation and a commitment to the common good of society are the fundamental foundations for a successful and prosperous life!
The next time you're thinking 'what can I do for myself?', I want you to ask yourself this question: 'what can I do for other people?' Take a moment to reflect on how you can make a contribution to the common good of humanity. How can you serve others? How can you contribute to the common goof of society? What difference can you make in the lives of the people around you?
Despite what you see on social media, there is absolutely nothing fashionable about selfishness. It is our biggest barrier to happiness and success in life. Rather than focusing solely on yourself, focus on your place in the wider world. Focus on your connections and your contributions. Focus on your place in the wider human family. Strive to be the best version of yourself so that you can make the best possible contribution to the common good of society.