Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:08
By Joe Romano, Marketing Manager
You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note.
— Doug Floyd
If you've ever sung karaoke with other people, you may know the experience. You get up to sing, oh, let's say, "Don't Stop Believin,'" by Journey. Everyone up on stage has a slightly different sense of the pitch, the cadence, and the timing. Some hold notes longer; some start them sooner. The four or five of you, all trying to sing the same thing, don't quite pull it off. Worse, when you try to adjust to get in unison, you end up even farther out of sync. The whole scene usually devolves into one in which each singer just starts wailing louder and louder until all in attendance are left feeling kind of bruised, and as for the song, well, you might just stop believin' altogether.
If, on the other hand, the singers are practiced in the art of harmony, everyone in the room will have a very different experience. Each singer will occupy their own vocal space and, though they're all singing different notes, perhaps even different words, they will have each found their own voice in the song, all the while remaining in unwavering relationship. These singers have found harmony, each singing a different song in time with the others. Those in attendance feel uplifted, because the space resonates with connection, and engages even those who are not singing. This is the nature of cooperation. We are not asked to all become the same when we cooperate; we all bring our very different voices, different lives, and different needs.
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 22:43
By Patrice Lockert Anthony
2012 is out, and 2013 is in. As this new year begins, what are some of our lessons? Reflections are funny things. Necessarily, they exist within the parameters of 20/20 vision. How do we make better, wiser, more thoughtful decisions without the (debatable) gift of prescience? Upon reflection, what is our measure for this year just passed?
We are believers in the cooperative movement, but what does that mean? Are we a community, or an exclusive enclave? Do we understand the world around us and how it operates (as well as how we operate within it)? Who are we within the cooperative construct? Does being in the movement alter who we are, or are we in the movement because we were different beings to begin? Perhaps both cases are true. I don't suppose it's really important to know which, or in which order it happened. Of more import is our measure now.
What is our measure? Do we believe in the cooperative principles, or is it just a cool thing to do, or even just a convenience for our families? Do we believe in it for ourselves, but don't really care whether others are on board? If we do care, do our lives (our daily doings) reflect this care? If necessary, how do we decide to do things differently? What is our process for making things happen in our lives? What operates as our driving force? How might that driving force effect change in the rest of our lives, whether it be a new health paradigm, or how we treat others?
The place where our cooperative hearts meet our lived lives is where our measure for this past year is to be taken. It isn't about pass or fail, so much as it is about whom we've chosen to be, from the inside, out. Are we satisfied with that measure? As we greet another year, our opportunities are renewed, and even expanded. We can take time to teach someone to cook using whole foods. We can donate to Loaves and Fishes, or a similar program, in order to better enable them to provide more whole grains, fresh produce, etc., to the people they serve. We could take our children to visit or help out at a food bank or homeless shelter.
Enriching our children's community and world perspectives is a great way to take measure of a lived life. We can also choose to be kinder, from our thoughts to our actions. I'm not sure those can be considered kind who do or say the right thing, but think the ugly thing. Representing the cooperative principles requires more than purchasing our food at a co-op. Living the cooperative principles is good, clean food, though. Food prepared in ways that leave it whole, and nurturing to body and soul. Water, untainted by fracking's damage. It is also friendships that are true, and fulfill us. Families that are healthy and happy.
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By Joe Romano,
"Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in."
— Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet
45 years ago, if you lived in Ithaca, or any city, and you walked into a supermarket, you would be hard pressed to find brown rice, tofu, or anything...