The Common Good

(VIDEO) Stories That Change the World

Sojomail - April 25, 2013

(VIDEO) Stories That Change the World

Get a FREE trial issue of Sojourners

Donate Today!


Stories are what change the world, more than just ideas. And that’s what I am seeing and hearing on the road — stories that will change people for the common good. Nobody outside of Washington trusts Washington because there are no more human stories — just money and the calculations of power.

But even Washington can be affected by the stories outside of Washington — take immigration reform for example, which will happen despite the political paralysis. People of faith are telling their stories of conversion to what their Bibles say about “the stranger.” They are telling stories of new relationships with their “undocumented” brothers and sisters. And their stories are changing Washington.

So rather than just offer you more “ideas” about the common good, we are going to offer you some stories about how ordinary people are creating it. 

Some talented young filmmakers have created stories to inspire you. This first video tells in beautiful scenes, the story of how a group in the Dominican Republic is using a recycling program to fund senior services. It’s about community and about serving our neighbors. It is a real inspiration for working within our own spheres of influence for the good of all.

Watch. Listen. And then create your own story for the common good.


Jim Wallis is CEO of Sojourners. His book, On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good, is now available. Watch the Story of the Common Good HERE. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.

E-mailE-mail this article to friends
FacebookShare this article on Facebook
CommentComment on this article on the God's Politics Blog

View latest articles from the God's Politics blog »

Stale Words in Fresh Tragedies
by Rev. Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier

It all ended — the reflection, the pause, the humility, the I don't knows — all in a collective sigh of relief. Now we can get back to what we were. West was an accident? Okay, business as usual. And what irked me then in my inarticulateness now seems lucid as I reflect back: there were no prophets. As far as I could see (waiting to be shown otherwise), there was no national voice to say, "Stay here. These conversations are still worth having." The prophets of ancient spoke a new word into the consciousness of the people, or at least an old word that had been lost and needed remembering. They righted the conscience of rulers and citizens.

On Leaning In
by Caroline Langston

A couple of days ago in Politico, writer Ann Marie Slaughter of the "Why Women Still Can't Have it All" article from The Atlantic last summer, stated with dismay that the long hours required at high-level jobs are part of what makes it, "so tough for women starting families … this is still a town that basically says in your 30s you have to work around the clock if you want to be somewhere in your 40s." Does anybody, male or female, need to work like this? What's an economy for? And what does it mean to "be somewhere," anyhow?

Surprising Our 'Enemies:' What If We Flipped the Script?
by Adam Ericksen

Tragically, we experienced the real violence of our enemies last week in Boston. The question that Wallis asks, and the question our political leaders need to ask, is "are there better and more effective ways of dealing with our enemies" than the old script of violence?

5 (Stupid) Reasons Christians Reject Environmentalism
by Stephen Mattson

Unfortunately, Earth Day is rarely celebrated within mainstream Christianity beyond a Sunday sermon, and environmentalism is often frowned upon by evangelical leaders instead of championed. Here are the main reasons Christians have rejected caring for our environment.

Don't Worship the Monsters
by David O'Hara

When the monsters and their violence become our focus, they grow and become our gods. We've become very good at hurting one another, so of course we need to be vigilant. But it's possible to take our fear too far, to let our natural reaction to sudden violence become a permanent policy of suspicion and terror. Then we are in danger of worshiping our would-be enemies. We don't worship them joyfully, but we worship them anyway, the way we might worship any vengeful, unstable, wrathful gods: looking over our shoulders and fearing their power. If the best we can come up with is invective against immigrants, suspicion of people unlike us, and perpetually heightened security measures, it starts to look like our hearts are full of fear.

NEW! In the SojoStore

OGS Bulk Order

Get Jim Wallis' latest book On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good at special bulk pricing for your small group or Bible study. 

2-9 copies ($11.95 each + S&H)
10-24 copies ($10.95 each + S&H)
25-49 copies ($9.95 each + S&H)
50+ copies ($8.95 each + S&H)

Let’s end forced child labor
Children are being forced to mine minerals for making cell phones. Help Everence end this practice by clicking on the link above. Together, we can do better.

Explore a FREE sample copy of Sojourners’ digital edition.

Deliver a passionate sermon on justice and peace!
To learn more about Preaching the Word, click the link above.

Emerging Voices is the next generation lifting up a prophetic vision! Click the link above to find out who is articulating the biblical call to social justice.