I’m sure you’ve heard the word cooperation frequently, whether in politics, sports, family, or church. We all have a reasonably good idea of what it means to cooperate, but the meaning is more profound than just working together in harmony. Psychologists tell us that Culture and Psychology Cooperation are “the ability of humans to work together toward common goals” and are required for survival. Therefore, groups with better member cooperation were more likely to survive.

Andreas Shikesho, Superintendent of Infrastructure Maintenance at Rio Tinto Rössing, supports the idea that all organized efforts lead back to the concept of cooperation. And everyone here on earth can learn to use the principle of cooperation to their advantage. There are two forms of cooperation.

First, it involves people who meet to form a Master Mind. The Law of the Master Mind refers to a group of individuals who unite to form alliances with the sole purpose of cooperating to attain a given end.

Second, cooperation between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind refers to the human being’s ability to use the Cosmic Habitforce[1] by contacting, communicating, and drawing upon the power of the universe.

Businesses use the first form of cooperation. Nearly all successful companies must have some form of operation to foster cooperation. And virtually every professional group has a group to enhance and promote cooperation and growth. For example, lawyers have their groups and bar associations; doctors have their medical associations; bankers and engineers with their councils, etc.

Even when it comes to workers’ unions etc., their preoccupation with cooperation, or collaborative effort, is that groups most efficiently apply cooperation psychology survive the longest. And who does not want to survive?

Cooperation is essential in power development and represents an organized effort or energy. And three most important factors involved in the organized attempt are Concentration, Collaboration, and Coordination, which promote Cooperation.

Personal power comes about by developing, organizing, and coordinating the different facilities of the mind. It refers to the Seventeen Laws of Success which must first be mastered and applied to gain personal power.

Developing personal power is the first step needed to access potential energy available through joined effort or cooperation. The allied effort is also appropriately termed “group power,” which comes through the Law of the Master Mind.

All men and women who have accumulated large fortunes can enlist the cooperative efforts of others who supply the talent and power they lack. But unfortunately, a lack of organized and cooperative action applications limits any business or profession.

It is necessary to form alliances and organizations that consist of individuals who supply “all of the necessary talents needed for the attainment of the object in mind.” For example, in practically all commercial endeavors, at least three classes of talent must cooperate to reach their goal: salespeople, buyers, and those familiar with finance.

How unfortunate is the person who imagines they can sail this sea of life in the frail canoe of independence through ignorance or because of egotism? Such a person will discover that there are vortexes more dangerous than any mere whirlpool of cold waters. All natural laws and all of Nature’s plans are based upon unified, cooperative effort, as all who have attained high places in the world, have discovered.

Success in life is impossible any other way than through peaceful, harmonious, cooperative effort, not single-handedly or independently. Therefore, cooperation is always involved in the attainment of success.

Suppose a person’s mind is set on cooperating with others and not competing against them. In that case, such a person will not only acquire the necessities and luxuries of life with less effort, but this person will enjoy an extra reward in happiness. On the other hand, a person whose mind stays focused on competition instead of cooperation will never feel the same way and will go unrewarded with abiding happiness.

All success is based upon power. Power grows from applied knowledge organized and expressed in terms of constructive service to society. Thus, a person’s object must be to earn a living. Plain cooperative effort produces power, but cooperative effort based upon complete harmony of purpose develops superpower.

The degree of power created through cooperation is measured by the nature of the motive the group proposes to attain. Find a reason why others can be rallied in a highly emotionalized, enthusiastic spirit of perfect cooperation, and you have found the ingredient for creating a Master Mind. The extent to which others can be enlisted to cooperate in harmony depends upon the driving motive that impels them to action.

Our ability to understand someone’s emotional experience then cooperation will occur when we see that person’s perspective and try to understand their point of view. When empathizing with a person in distress, the natural desire to help is often expressed as a desire to cooperate. Trust is the belief that another person’s actions will benefit one’s interests, enabling them to work together as a single unit. Regarding cooperation, trust is necessary; however, our willingness to trust others depends on their actions and reputation. One typical example of the difficulties in trusting others you might be familiar with is a group project for a class. Many students dislike group projects because they worry about social lounging, the way that one person expends less effort but still benefits from the group’s efforts.

Over time, individuals develop a reputation for helping or just plain laziness. The willingness or unwillingness to cooperate with others depends on their prior actions, reputation, and memory of the events. Individuals perceived as cooperative gained a reputational advantage, earning them more partners willing to cooperate and a larger overall monetary reward.

There are cultural differences in the belief about the goodness of people, which can be seen as a measure of trust. High trust refers to positive expectations about the behaviors of others (returning a lost wallet), and low trust refers to negative expectations about the behaviors of others (keeping a lost wallet). Trusted societies are more likely to cooperate without sanctions (punishment); however, there is a lot of variation in cooperation across cultures, and willingness to sanction group members is moderated by factors like social norms, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and individual reputation (whether someone has helped in the past).

Psychologists also tell us that the theme of cooperation has been a prominent domain of theory and research within various disciplines, including philosophy, political science, economics, sociology, biology, and psychology. The broad interest in cooperation is not surprising. This theme is intimately linked to the basic views and assumptions regarding human nature and is relevant to the functioning of cooperating groups, organizations, and even societies. Although it is often assumed that mankind is rationally self-interested, more recent theorizing and research reveal that human nature is far richer than the concept of selfishness can capture.

Cooperation is formally defined as the tendency to maximize outcomes for self and others (“doing well together”). It is often contrasted to competition, the tendency to maximize relative advantage over others (“doing better than others”), and to individualism, the inclination to maximize one’s outcomes with no or minimal regard for others’ consequences (“doing well for yourself”).

Cooperation and competition have been examined in several hypotheses. However, such issues have received the most direct attention in experimental games, such as the well-known Prisoner’s Dilemma Game. In this situation, people often face two choices – a suitable choice, which helps others at some cost, and a selfish choice, which harms others but serves self-interest. Cooperation has also been studied in the context of other experimental game situations as well as in real-life contexts. In all this research, the critical question is: How can we promote cooperative behavior that benefits outcomes for all individuals involved? Research indicates several personalities and situational variables that affect collective behavior.

To begin with, people differ in their tendency to cooperate or not. For example, prosocial people are more strongly inclined to make a cooperative choice than others (individualists and competitors), who may be more likely to make a selfish choice. This variable, called social value orientation, is also relevant to understanding cooperation in everyday life.

For example, the prosocial are more likely to engage in self-sacrifices in their close relationships, are more likely to help others, and are more likely to make donations to noble causes, such as helping the ill and the poor.


We read where Moses’ arms finally became too tired to hold up the rod any longer. So, Aaron and Hur cooperated in rolling a stone to where Moses was standing for him to sit on, then they stood on each side, holding up his hands until sunset. (Exodus 17:12)

The Psalmist exclaimed, how wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers cooperate in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

A First Covenant Preacher’s homily includes the story of a man without a son or brother, yet he worked hard to keep gaining more riches. So, to whom will he leave it all, and why is he not using it now? It is all so pointless and depressing. Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better. If one falls, the other pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he’s in trouble. Also, on a cold night, two under the same blanket provide warmth for each other, but how can one be warm alone? And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12)

So, the prophet Nehemiah tells us the returning exile from Babylon built the wall. And all the wall was joined to half its height, for the people had a mind to cooperate. (Nehemiah 4:6)

The prophet Amos asks, “Can two people cooperate if they disagree on what they’re going to do?” (Amos 3:3)

The Apostle Paul has this to say about working together, “All things should be done with orderly cooperation.” (1 Corinthians 14:40) Paul also urged the Ephesians to cooperate for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)

Finally, Paul offers this advice, “Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up? Do you love me enough to want to help me? Does it mean anything to you that we are brothers in the Lord, sharing the same Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic at all? Then make me truly happy by loving and wholeheartedly cooperating with each other, with one heart, mind, and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.” (Philippians 2:1-3)

[1] Cosmic Habitforce is the law that fixes habits. The conductor keeps the universe in time but constantly changing, ensuring that everything evolves, that night follows day, that oaks will come from acorns, and that life will grow and thrive in its natural environment.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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