The common purpose of life is living. This is the purpose of all life, to grow, to realise its potential and find fulfilment.
But as well as that purpose, there is a principle, that is really the human principle, the human wisdom, that, for all people to find fulfilment, we must all live without harm – without harm to others, and without harm from others. This is the principle of no harm.
And given that only we can live our own lives – only I can live my life and only you can live yours – ‘controls’ (ones that don’t apply equally to all of us) must be a form of harm. So freedom from harm also means freedom from control.
This pursuit of fulfilment without harm, to or from others, can be considered ‘the right way’.
The right way, of fulfilment without harm, leads to rights for all, to human rights like those embodied in the United Nations Declaration of Rights.
And it also leads to a legal system based on human rights, rights that assist our living and pursuing our fulfilment without harm.
In economics, fulfilment without harm leads to free and fair competition in open markets, as opposed to closed markets and unfair competition.
It leads to the realisation of human potential, through us being enabled to make our best contributions.
It leads to shared earnings and a shared base income.
To shared ideas and shared growth, rather than exclusive ideas and limited growth.
And it leads to unlimited product through unlimited ideas.
Fulfilment without harm leads to money as a tool for facilitating transactions in trade, rather than money as purpose.
It leads to productive finance, investing in people and their contributions, rather than speculative finance, investing to exploit changes in price.
Pursuing fulfilment without harm leads to value as fulfilment, rather than as money.
In organisation, fulfilment without harm leads to common purpose organisations, rather than centralised monopolistic organisations.
It leads to distributed responsibility and open information systems.
To democratic, collective decision-making.
To organisation by permission.
And to organisational earnings shared more evenly.
It also leads to open accounting for fairly distributed earnings.
To responsible, liable owners.
And to voluntary membership in common purpose organisations.
In society, the right way, pursuing fulfilment without harm, leads to cultures of confidence and care (of freedom) where mistakes are understood (to safe cultures).
It leads to universal, equal respect, rather than differential respect.
It leads to greater self-governance, rather than imposed governance and policy controls.
It leads to universal, open education.
And to universal health care with healthy living in responsible, tolerant environments.
And it leads to environmental responsibility.
It also leads to open and free media transmitting in real time, only filtering after the fact and with minimum interpretation.
And it leads to free and open faith, rather than exclusive religion.
To respect for ethnic identity and homeland.
And to security built on trust.
The right way, pursuing fulfilment without harm thus leads to a system that serves our purpose of fulfilment without harm. This purpose must guide the policies, rules and regulations that shape our system, as well as the unwritten rules by which we all behave.
To know how to act in any situation, in any role, for any policy or decision, return to the base purpose and principle with which all such things should comply, these will guide the right way to act in any situation.
To make the changes we need individually, we look to find our niche (what we’re good at, where our talents lie) and fulfil our potential by living our lives without harm in a system that enables fulfilment without harm because it is based on this purpose and principle through the actions, policies and decisions we all choose to make in conscious respect of this purpose and principle.
With this purpose and principle, and a system shaped to enable it, we achieve our greatest possible potential.Ben Wallace
Author The Common Purpose Manifesto
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