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April 27, 2013

Cooperation is the key to achievement

Joint study, when it comes to academics, is one of the most common and best examples of cooperation in our lives. During a joint study session, a student can seek help from another student if he/she does not understand a certain academic concept. In this way, all students gain much more by studying together as compared to studying alone. The dictionary definition of cooperation is “an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action.” As pointed out earlier, the benefits of cooperation are obvious. Individually, a person working for a certain cause may not achieve too much. But, if he/she joins hands with other persons to work for the same cause then, together, that group of persons can achieve much more.
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We see many examples of cooperation in our daily lives. In a typical household, both parents and children have different roles to play and duties to perform, and which requires cooperation between all members. The children support their parents and, in this way, all the family members work together to bring order and harmony to the household. And all this is made possible by means of cooperation. Similarly, in a school there is a principal, department heads, class teachers, subject teachers, coordinators, etc, and all work together by means of cooperation to run the school’s system in the best way possible. Working by means of cooperation also gives advantages by virtue of the fact that each individual has different qualities, abilities and talents. Working in a group for a certain cause makes it possible to exploit each of these unique qualities. This aspect is also important in the course of our daily lives. It pays to surround ourselves with people who have the talent and skill which we lack so that we can seek their help whenever we need it. Another important aspect in this regard is to cooperate with like-minded people to achieve benefits of synergy. Synergy is the case when the interaction of cooperating elements produces a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc. The benefits of teamwork and group work by means of cooperation are obvious, especially when taken forward as regards to what we have established so far. Individually, it may be impossible for us to do a certain thing, but cooperation with others may well make it possible. There is this relatively famous story in which hundreds of ants attack a snake and with their cooperation they manage to kill it. Individually, an ant could have done nothing against the snake but by uniting and cooperating with each other, the ants managed to accomplish such a big feat. Similarly, if we join hands with other individuals like us, then together we can achieve what would have been impossible had we worked alone. There is a Japanese proverb that sums up the power of teamwork very well: “A single arrow is easily broken but not ten in a bundle”. Currently, the poverty level in our country is very high and children from less privileged background are facing many issues. You and I alone cannot realistically make a significant impact in helping all those in need of help. But if we join hands with our friends and make a concerted effort, then we can make an effective and significant contribution. There have been examples of people who have joined hands for solving the issues they faced without the help of government agencies. Malala Yousafzai provides a shining example for all of us. If she can achieve so much on her own, then surely other children can too by utilising the principles of cooperation. So whatever issue we may face in our community, city or country, we can raise our voice together and ask our elders to do something about the issue. Even, without the help of elders, there are things that we can do in this regard by doing a little bit of brainstorming. Working with cooperation, in itself, would be a mean of personal development for you. It would broaden your horizons and help you improve socially and in carrying out your social dealings. In one’s professional and social lives, dealing properly with people is important. In team and group work, there are things like team dynamics, leadership, coordination, support, communication, etc. that need to be learned and get accustomed to. Working in group situations, by using principles of cooperation would help you learn things in this regard. At a personal level, cooperation should also be between the conscious and the subconscious minds of an individual. Our subconscious mind is like a sleeping giant with few, if any, limitations. It is up to us to tap our inner, God-gifted potential and make the best out of it. And the key to this is to have tremendous amount of self-belief, positive attitude and constant use of imagination as regards to what you want in life. Once you start to do that, you are well on your way to achieve whatever you want in your life. In our routine life, we live life as it unfolds before us. We exercise little, if any, control on how life is shaping out for us. By failing to take control of our life and making full use of our inner potential, we miss out on all the success and happiness that we are capable of achieving. So open up your mind and cooperate with your inner “sleeping giant” to make your life better. In a nutshell, cooperation is important at both the individual level and in our dealings with everyone around us. It pays to understand the principles and benefits of cooperation because they are vital for living our lives in a better way.