ACTION 5
For the Common Good
Shed Light on Acts of Cooperation

Peace on earth is about more then avoiding war; it is achieved through the active skills of cooperation. Otherwise our differences can devolve into unhealthy conflict. Further, to create the world we want requires us to learn how to cooperate for the common good. To catalyze this skillset during the First Earth Run, we honored the groups inventing cooperation solutions for the common good in each community we visited. We shed light on these initiatives to increase the community’s collective intelligence around the often unheralded, but hugely important, skillset of cooperation.

They ranged from women in a West African village hand-building a dam to irrigate the farms of their community; to mothers in a drug-ridden inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood turning their homes into recreation facilities and safe havens for their sons; to honoring the cease fire between Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega and the head of the rebel Contras who had their children carry the torch of peace together through the capital city of Managua at the height of their civil war.

Each required vision, determination, and cooperation skills. What it took to succeed was rarely known by anyone other than those directly involved. Turning this hard-won knowledge into a community or national legacy was one of the First Earth Run’s greatest sources of satisfaction. This action allows you to do the same for your community.It can be done by an existing community group or you can establish one for this purpose. Develop your project selection criteria by defining the common good and what acts of cooperation look like. Developing these criteria as a community-wide activity is a powerful way to establish them as new social norms. It is the easiest to piggyback on an already existing community activity in which you just add this element. Then enjoy watching your community glow with acts of cooperative goodness.

Action 6