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Perhaps best of all, the common good is a matter of choices, not just ideas. And those choices are often local, not grand social schemes. My decisions about where to live and what to eat and buy, as well as what to grow and create, whom to befriend and where to volunteer, whom to employ and how much to pay, aren't just about my private fulfillment. They will also either contribute to others' flourishing or undermine it.

Indeed, all things that are truly good are common goods, meant to be shared and enjoyed together. And if the return of "the common good" reminds us of that truth and that hope, and shapes the way we live among our neighbors, it will have done a world of good.

Andy Crouch, executive producer of This Is Our City, is the author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (InterVarsity Press) and a forthcoming book on power.

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