This post has already been read 293 times!
Amidst the turbulence and chaos swirling in every corner of the world, still, many people are dreaming for unity, peace and harmony to reign in every family, community and society. In John Lennon’s hit song, Imagine, he proposed the idea of the non-existence of heaven and hell, absence of religion and only the only controlling force is the brotherhood of men. If only everything is owned by everybody, then we will all become one big happy family, he added. Who would not want that?
In a way, that is exactly what a co-operative is supposed to be. A cooperative should be an organization where members walk hand and hand and sharing one common goal. Members should be united in the things they plan to achieve. This is one unique feature of a cooperative unlike a corporation where you are treated as a mere stockholder and your relationship with the company is purely economic. In the co-operative, you become a member once you contribute to the capital. You become a co-owner and your opinion matters. In other words, your membership in the co-op is not purely economic. It is also an avenue not only to socialize but to pursue cultural aspirations of the group. It is a family.
If there is unity, it is easier to implement programs and offer better services to the members. Just to be clear, this is not a communistic principle or a dictatorial management style. It is a fact. In fact, everybody will be enjoying performing his task and people are willingly fulfilling their obligations in a non-toxic environment. However, the oneness of mind is tempered by the concept of due process and the observance of democratic principles. That is why the opinion of every member, matters. However, personal interest of one or the minority shall give way to the benefit of the majority or more appropriately, to the best interest of the co-op.
Of course, the majority prevails but that decision always carries with it the burden of considering the benefit of the co-op, not just the majority. For me, majority decision is not always right. There has to be a mechanism to thwart any move that will be detrimental to the co-op. After all, the momentous event or the collapse of the co-op will be remembered as a result of the decision not the decision itself.
Going back to Lennon’s imagination, I’m afraid that his proposal could be more detrimental rather than solve the problems of hate, violence and war in the world. If there will be no heaven and hell and no religion too, there will be no justice and morality. It would be alright to kill, steal and destroy. We will go back to the law of the jungle where only the fittest will survive.
There can be no total unity in every organization but if there is respect and tolerance with respect to our differences, peace and harmony will no longer be just an imagination. This is more realistic than dreaming about a utopia.