Volume 4, Issue 9, September 2005
THE COOPERATIVE ACTION CREDO
Last month I talked about The Mouradian Model for Cooperative Action© and this month I would like to personalize the Model into the “I”.
I want to break us into two categories for the purpose of discussion. There are those who feel a part of the “in crowd” and those who are the “outcasts”. In school, I was a jock, captain of the football team, gold medal oarsman and a member of the jock fraternity and considered myself part of the “in crowd”. We of course made sure there were plenty of outcasts to tease and ridicule.
As I grew and had more life experiences, I realized that from time to time we all feel like the outcast because of what others say and do. I began to understand what it was like to be on both sides of the issue. And I will tell you, being the outcast is not a good thing.
The six tenets of The Mouradian Model for Cooperative Action© talk about what to do and how to interact with others. I felt that it was necessary to personalize the model by turning the six tenets into six credos that we can say over and over again as a sort of meditation that helps us relate to The Model and how we are to interact with others. It’s like taking the 10 Commandments and personalizing them. Instead of saying, “Thou shalt not kill.” We would say, “I will not kill.” By personalizing the statement, I am committing to do or not do the action.
Let us look at The Cooperative Action Credo and see how it can help us adjust our way of being.
Credo #1 - I Will Celebrate the Individual. If I in fact celebrate the individual, then I believe that all individuals should be able to do anything they want as long as they do not knowingly adversely affect the planet or anyone on it. Therefore, I have no business (as a jock) creating the outcasts of those who don’t dress, look or act like me. Everyone should be allowed to be the person they were meant to be. If I demand respect as an individual, then I must reciprocate that respect in others.
Credo #2 - It’s OK To Be Me. I know that there is nothing wrong with me. I am the person I was meant to be. I do not have to make fun of the outcast in order to elevate my own ego. Conversely, I do not have to become an outcast, for I know that there is nothing wrong with me, it is the person who is taunting me that really has the problem.
Credo #3 - I Will Communicate And Negotiate All Of My Boundaries. Because I know that I am OK and because I respect and celebrate all other individuals, I am able to communicate all of my boundaries which enables me to clarify all of my relationships and therefore avoid any misunderstanding that could cause harm to myself or others. I am able to be assertive without being aggressive. Assertiveness shows leadership while aggressiveness alienates.
Credo #4 - I Will Do My Best To Accommodate. I understand that if I really want to do something (as long as it harms no one), I will be able to do it. I also understand that others have the same right. If I am celebrating the individual, I look at each situation and ask myself, “how important is it for me to get my way?” Usually, it is not that big a deal and therefore I create cooperative action and allow the other person his or her choice in this particular situation. The only caveat here is that I will not lose my sense of self when accommodating, that is where I make sure I communicate what I need.
Credo #5 - I Will Build All Relationships On Trust and Respect, Not Power And Ownership. I know that I would not like anyone to think that they own me or have power or control over my life. Therefore, it is inconceivable for me to have power or ownership over another. All my relationships are built on mutual trust and respect, for that is what I expect from others and give myself.
Credo #6 - I Believe That Acceptance Is Not Necessarily Agreement. This final credo shows me that I do not have to agree with everything everyone does. I do have to accept the fact that they have the right to do it as long as the action harms no one. Understanding that acceptance is not necessarily agreement takes the pressure off me to try to condone or change the other person’s behaviour. Life is a lot smoother when you do not have to go around trying to change people to your way of thinking.
By living this Cooperative Action Credo, you will be able to be the person you were meant to be. You will be able to understand and celebrate what others do. When someone is adversely affecting you, you will be able to communicate your boundaries in order to create a balance and equilibrium in the situation. All of your relationships will be based on mutual trust and respect and you will not feel the need to change anyone else’s behaviour in order to satisfy your need to feel important or in control.
Simply put, everyone will respect each other. The jocks will not need to create outcasts and if there are no outcasts, then violent controlling behaviour will be minimized, if not eliminated entirely.
SIDEBAR – FOUND TREASURE
By Pierre R. Ouellette Hon.B.A., LL.B.
One of the advantages of having studied Law is that one is usually well-armed to deal with all manner of cocktail party conversation. With the Wine Festival approaching here in Niagara let me offer a couple of tidbits should the conversation take a ‘did you know’ twist.
Here is a little scenario for you. Let us say that Jane often cut across Paul’s property to get to work, One day, she noticed a sack under a bush and was surprised to discover that it contained jewelry. The question is can Jane legally keep them?
The answer is that Paul has a better claim than Jane. The owner of land is considered to have possession of everything on the property even if the owner is unaware of its presence. However, Paul will have to give the jewelry up if the true owner is ever found. (The situation is different in Quebec where the treasure would be split evenly between Jane and Paul.)
The situation is also different if Jane found the sack or, more typically, a wallet without identification, in a public place. In that case she would have been legally obligated to bring the jewelry or wallet to the police. If after a time – which can range from 90 days to a year – the true owner does not come forward then the police would return the goods to Jane. The finder of lost goods acquires a right of ownership to the goods that will stand up against the claim of anyone except the true owner.
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