Sometimes, I can get caught up in negativity and I try to move beyond it by thinking of things that are positive in my life. For me, I get solace in knowing I am a member-owner of a co-operative whose values are in alignment with my own. To quote Sidney Pobihushchy, (from the article, The Cooperative Values: Their Meaning and Practical Significance), ” The Cooperative movement and its business, based on the ten values…possesses the only contemporary social-political-economic ideology which explicitly and practically promotes and actualizes community health and strength.” These Ten Cooperative values are self -help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, solidarity, honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
So when events overwhelm me, I think of these values and of the impact our co-op has on the local community. Some of these impacts are well paid jobs, local food sustainability, support for our farmers, healthy food access and the store’s efforts to reduce it’s carbon footprint. The store has become a social hub for the community, providing a space for neighbors and friends to gather, converse and eat healthy, yummy food.
So maybe when you are feeling overwhelmed by events out of your control, remind yourself of your ownership in a cooperative store and the values it represents. Again, to quote Sidney Pobihushchy, “Taken together, the ten cooperative values define, and provide the parameters for, a worldview/paradigm. That worldview paradigm is a wholesome and superior alternative of the status quo of the past and today, especially if human fulfillment and peace are important goals for any society to pursue. The clear implication of those ten cooperative values is that human fulfillment and peace are the only ethically and morally justifiable goals for any society.”
Life can be challenging but we can find comfort in knowing we have a successful cooperative in our community. See you at the store!