A Culture of Cooperation

About a decade ago I was in the far, far north of Eastern Australia, at a remote public school serving the Aboriginal village of Lockhart River. All the students were black/Aboriginal and all but one of the teachers was white, all from other parts of Australia. I interviewed several of them, and one made the most interesting observation.

"These kids are from a cooperator culture, not a competitor culture," he said, pointing out that cooperation was what kept Aboriginal society intact and functioning for tens of thousands of years. "When we taught them to play soccer, they changed the rules so that they play until both teams have the same score. That is when they end the game."

We need more cooperation in the world. Consider this example (with special thanks to my old friend and editor Dave deBronkart for the tip on this):

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Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."