COMMENTARY 983.4: Working Together

I want to be thin — especially when I’m not hungry.

And it seems the President and members of Congress want to work together — especially if they don’t have strong feelings about the issue.

I liked President Obama’s call for more civility and greater cooperation, but I’m not convinced it will happen. There’s always a lot of room between rhetoric and reality.

Of course, calls for unity are not new. President John Kennedy was lofty in his appeal: “Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, and tap the ocean depths.”

In politics, business, sports, and family, cooperation, collaboration and teamwork are not just great words, they’re great strategies.

As Ken Blanchard tells us, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” After all, TEAM means “Together Everyone Achieves More!”

Lots of people have said some smart and inspiring things about the power of unity. Here’s some of my favorites:

Vince Lombardi: “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Finally, remember what Harry Truman said: “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Comments 4

  1. Dear Mr. Josephson,

    Many thanks for the inspiring and thought-provoking message!

    As you rightly noted, appeal for unity is not new and thus, cooperation is not just a great word but, a great strategy.

    The British philosopher, Bertrand Russell once remarked, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” In a world dominated by power struggle, asking for cooperation from another can appear demanding but, as long as the purpose is noble, it is obtainable.

    In his letter to Mary Hulbert, the leader of the Progressive Movement, Woodrow Wilson, beautifully expressed the connection between power, purpose and cooperation thus: “Power consists in one’s capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, to lead by reason and a gift of cooperation.”

    At the outset, the statement may appear a bit complex but, if we read between the lines, we can see that the gift of cooperation is all ours if we can align our will with the purpose of others and base our actions on inspiration rather than domination.

    Recently, during an enlightening evening lecture titled ‘The Tree of Life” by His Holiness Sachinandan Swami, I learned something about a rare species that thrives primarily by this gift of cooperation. Redwood trees are the tallest living beings on the Earth, reaching heights of up to 360 feet (100+ meters) and are known for their longevity, typically 500

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