The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
– Bertrand Russell
Often, it can seem like life is a one-person affair. Each of us goes about our tasks independently of the others and gives little consideration outside of our selves. Having said that, the extent to which you feel this represents your life and community will vary depending on the culture and population of your home town and the nature of your pursuit. As an example, someone living in the middle of a very big city but working from home and rarely venturing out might feel completely alone. Conversely, a small family living on a farm ten miles from the nearest town could feel very involved with others if they enjoy work and extra-curricular affairs in their community.
For most all of us living in this digital age, however, I believe it is true to say that our world is more connected than ever – and much more isolating as a result.
Forming Positive Bonds
Cooperation is the ability and action of a person to work together with another. It may be implied that the two would work together for mutual gain, but I think that is a possibility and not a necessity of the definition. Certainly, a very charitable person may cooperate with others for reasons that are completely selfless. In a similar fashion, however, a more nefarious sort might manipulate another to the actual disadvantage of the second party. Regardless, both are examples of cooperation in action.
There’s an expression that has survived many years, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Now, there’s no natural application for this phrase – it can be used in many different circumstances. You may feel this describes your favorite book series or the courses you took as part of your degree program. I believe it relates to interpersonal relationships and teamwork, as well.
Cooperation and Personal Success
If you’re here as a result of my previous topics (thank you!), then your natural question might be, “How does this apply to me becoming the most successful me I can be?”. It boils down to the remarkable changes that can happen when you get multiple passionate people working together in the same direction. Without the aid of others, each of us is limited in our (considerable) potential – certainly no one has ever succeeded alone in business or most of life. When we can separate ourselves from our egos and find incredible people to associate with and band together, we become something nearly unstoppable.
In application, this can take many, different forms. Perhaps you decide to take on a partner for your new business venture? (Though, do take care.) Or maybe you meet a new client that has an uncommon drive to get results. Similarly, maybe you find an experienced mentor with the heart of a teacher who is willing to train you. Or, if you are that experienced someone, perhaps today is the day you see the up-and-comers in your field as the future of your own industry. If so, dare to invest in their future success, and, in so doing, you’ll establish your legacy as a leader and an educator.
Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself, remember that there is strength in numbers. Don’t try to change the world by yourself when there are so many amazing people willing to help. Look for those opportunities to make lasting connections. Grab on to someone who will pull you higher still. Equally important: once you get up, pull the next guy up, too. We’re all in this together.
Thank you for your time.