Lesslie Newbigin on the social character of human nature

Human beings find fulfillment not in the attempt to develop themselves, not in the effort to better their own condition, not in the untrammeled exercise of unlimited covetousness, but in the experience of mutual relatedness and responsibility in serving a shared goal. Recent surveys in Britain have brought out the fact that great numbers of people have affirmed that the best years of their lives were those in which they shared the experience of the war. The bombing of cities, the destruction of homes, the absence of rest or holiday, the shortage of food and clothing, and the constant presence of death were all part of the picture; but what colors it all is the memory of shared commitment to a common purpose. That is what brings human beings to their very best, and most of us know it.

From Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture, (Eerdmans, 1986), 122.

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