Co-operation is essential if we wish to live in a better world.

In international relationships in recent years there has been an alarming tendency towards nationalistic politics.  The policy of the Trump administration of ‘America First’, and in Europe the growing movements that promote a ‘them and us’ attitude towards those of different traditions and cultures are examples of this.

This is reflected in the tendency of individuals in society to become more self-centred and protecting their own interests at the expense of the community.  Not only does this make it difficult to tackle global issues, like the environmental degradation, poverty, and religious and racial conflict, but it diminishes the human spirit.

All humans at their core are peaceful, generous, and compassionate, and history demonstrates to us time and again, when we forget these inherent qualities and turn to conflict to resolve issues, everyone, and other beings and the environment suffer. 

Achieving successful co-operation can only be done by first understanding what co-operation means to each of us at a personal level, before applying it in our own relationships at home and work. Some suggestions are:

1 Respect others’ traditions and beliefs. Give them space and time to talk while listening attentively in a curious and non-judgemental way.

2 See peoples’ positive qualities.  Notice an individual’s qualities of compassion, patience, wisdom and kindness and let them know your appreciation of them.

3 Be flexible in finding just solutions.  Be prepared to forgive and be accommodating, while being creative in finding solutions.

If we practice these suggestions on a daily basis with family and colleagues, being co-operative becomes a habit, and as a result a supportive community will develop.  Perhaps then politicians and leaders will begin to behave in a way that reflects the best of human qualities, and a better world will be realised.

Craig Brown

To follow Craig’s daily mindfulness suggestions @amindfuldoctor  please click here.

Craig’s free meditation podcasts can be accessed by clicking here.

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