The fouth level of the column of values is cooperation. This is the first level of true connectivity between people or organizations. Cooperation is only optimally possible between people who have taken good care of a solid foundation of their personal column of values.
For cooperation two or more identities require the sharing of a higher purpose. This can be as common as a man and a woman (or man/man, woman/woman combinations also in the modern world of emancipation) who love eachother with the primary higher goal to share all moments of life together and enjoy eachother’s presence. Maybe at one stage they decide to marry and intensify the higher purpose with the desire to have children and create a family. In fact this is the most ancient and common form of cooperation. In our modern lifes we have largely abolished this cooperation as we have placed indvidual question marks around the higher purpose. We come to that in a minute.
In business, politics or on the street the true quest for a servant higher purpose is found in any key area of value creation around human existance and progress, like education, housing, safety, quality of living, water, energy, food, health, vitality, spirituality, etc. Also this original and ancient quest for continuous improvement has largely disappeared as we economized our surrounding placing a label of money on everything.
The problems that we find in marriage and society is that on paper the idealism of the common higher purpose works very well as we have seen in history many times. But in present day reality we see that the identities do not operate from the communality of this purpose but from an individualist persuit of self interest. In a modern marriage the emancipation has developed a family situation of two partners with an individual view on mutual financial independence and personal realization. This independence has become very important for both partners but often at the expense of the matrimonial stability. It all works fine if there are no children or both live and work in the same place. But when questions arise that gets one of the partners into a crisis or to make important choices that affect the other we see that the higher purpose is questioned easily and individual purpose tends to become dominant. Even if the partner choses in favor of the cooperation the choice affects the relationship as both develop a sense of debt to eachother.
Of course there are many people who manage to go through this process perfectly and they can be admired for it. But most people see equality as an individual right and the community as something that serves the individual, not the other way around. When children are born they are placed in day and evening care to allow both parents to go out to work. This results in a deterioration of parental affection with the off spring. There is a lot of scientific proof being developed now that shows that this causes long term psycological instability and a cost for society in the long term.
No one disputes the female right for economic self sufficiency or development of a significant life. What we do discuss is the way we should organize our families around the higher purpose of the safe, healthy and vital develop of our children too? When we take responsibility for own life we should not forget to take responsibility for our surroundings and in particular for our off spring.
Also large organizations and central governments confuse the higher purpose with their financial greed, often motivated by shareholder short term pressure. They often find sole their purpose to cooperate in their hunger for more. When money is the sole objective what is one willing to sacrifice along the way? We see that organizations have been built around legal destruction as money prevails in everything we do. Such cooperation ends invariably into crisis and chaos as we have seen with the credit crisis, the food crisis, energy crisis, and many other crises to come.
Sustainable cooperation from a true identity can only be done if one is willing to serve humanity and our planet oneself and work together within the context of a higher purpose that exceeds the sum of the individuals. Then the next level of the column becomes key: trust.