Thursday, June 17, 2010

Independent Cooperative Living

The older I get, the more I think that a cooperative living plan is an excellent idea. Okay, maybe not yet, but the idea is rather wonderful within purposeful living.

If you haven't heard about cooperative living it is a lot like co-op grocery stores, or co-ops in general. It's people helping people using the skills they have to may the co-op better. It the 'We are the World' concept at a local level - together we can make it a better place. Not everyone in a co-op has the same talents, abilities, or skills.

Can you see a co-op grocery store where all the produce providers were green bean growers and none were cheese makers? Get the picture; different talents used to improve the whole.

So, why am I writing about this today? Well, it was the first thing I was thinking about when I woke up this morning - don't ask me why things come into my head but they do.

As I tried to fall back to sleep the thought kept running around the spaces between my ears and like others counting sheep, I started counting the ways that co-op living would or could work.

It works well in a work environment if people are willing to trust others skills and abilities. They call it team work or cross functional teams, but in essence it is co-op work. Different skills, ideas, and talents working towards a common purpose.

It works well for local grocery stores as different farmers, makers, and people come together to deliver a large variety of products for their customers.

It works well in Credit Unions. Everyone sharing what you put in and what you take out. You didn't hear any "Credit Unions Fall" when the economy/financial issues were at their peak.

It works for some people who have survived for decades in villages, towns, and establishments around the world. Shared tasks for common survival.

Now I am not saying we should all leave our little neighborhoods and go and start a commune, but what if we started the idea of independent cooperative living? We all have the same basic needs - food, shelter, water. We all have some same basic things we have to do - mow the lawn, balance the checkbook, raise a family. We all have the same basic personal needs - friendship, love, trust, caring.

The problem with most of us is that we are to darn independent to even think we could give up some of our live and trust others to take care of it. I know I do. So, what about Independent Cooperative Living?

If I was to poll the 17 people who signed up on this blog and the others that are uot their reading, just don't like to sign up I bet we would have an accountant, people who love yard work, a carpenter or two, bread makers, cooks, painters, child care givers, animal sitters, and many other talents.

What if all of these lived in an area where rather than all of us making bread, one person made the bread for everyone, or one person made sure our animals were healthy?

Now you may be thinking "Janice is off her rocker" and NO I am not suggesting we head for the hills and start this up! The point is: knowing our skills can not only help us, it can help others.

If you are not good at balancing your checkbook and seem to always overdraft your account and get mad because the bank just made $20 on your mistake - why not look for someone who has the talent and use them?

If you get angry and frustrated when you try and fix a deck board, why not look for someone who has a talent?

I know what I am good at and I am keenly aware of what I can fail miserably at. Why would I want to continue to fail, when I know someone who can do those things and tasks with little to no effort?

Independent Cooperative Living - Maybe more like Services to Give and Receive, but something that I think about as I get older. Maybe I need to go back to counting sheep!

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