Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart by Donald Scherer, PhD, and Carolyn Jabs discusses five virtues that can be applied in any situation with two of more people. I like the first two sentences: “This book is for people who try to do the right thing. This includes most of us, most of the time.”
Cooperative Wisdom discusses contradictions such as using fertilizers to keep our lawns beautiful and yet contributing to the runoffs that ‘stimulate algae growth that clogs and degrades waterways.’ Also discussed are dilemmas such as the benefits of specializing in a certain field in comparison with the deficits of not being able to see what matters to other people.
This book shows individuals how to honor multiple points of view, that is, to look beyond one’s self and consider the same scenario from someone else’s point of view. With the virtue of intentional imagination Cooperative Wisdom demonstrates not only how to ‘think outside the box’ but also how to recreate the box and reshape it for multiple uses. For instance, regarding the issues of drunk driving, the author asks: “Can you design a vehicle that cannot leave the road or one that will stop before it hits another vehicle?”
Another one of my favorite quotes is: “Respect if always at the heart of deep discernment.” I highly recommend this book be read by everyone who must cooperate with another person in some way. I further recommend all organizations provide a copy for their members, as it would be a highly rewarding investment for the betterment of all stakeholders.
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