Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cooperation Born Of Tragedy

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This article was written by Douglas Castle for original publication in The Internationalist Page Blog and in the GICBC (Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community) Blog.

Cooperation Born Of Tragedy

The brief article which appears below came to us courtesy of AP (the Associated Press), and would seem to illustrate how the fears which we have in common -- dare I say it -- the fears which we share tend to unite us when they are extreme enough, and powerful enough, to overshadow long-standing and fundamental differences in ideologies or objectives. Enemies are bound, by their fears, to initiate a means of cooperation. And that cooperation invariably starts with a reluctant, uncomfortable dialogue between two individual Human Beings.

Much as fear acts as a catalyst to bind us (when common interests or objectives don't readily serve that purpose, as pursuit of ambitions is never quite as compelling as a sudden bound with the type of fear that reduces us to children playing in the same sandbox...where our superficial differences do not define us as "better" or "worse"... they just make us each somehow special.

I believe that all persons, all leaders and all nations must search for those things which unite us, instead of investing so much time politicking about those things that divide us.

Admitting and addressing fears and solving common problems is the way we learn the lessons of cooperation and collaboration. If this behavioral shift (admittedly born of tragedy or desperation; in this case, the terrible catastrophe in Japan) proves to be successful, and problems are solved through working together, a great deal of mistrust and suspicion can eventually yield the way to strategic interdependence and synergy.

The article is very brief, but profoundly significant given the history between South Korea and North Korea. As my college thesis advisor had once said to me, "People are far too busy placing blame and fighting each other to actually solve 'real' problems. We're so immersed in our bickering and treasure hunting that we never look up to the sky above, only to realize that a giant meteor is headed for our planet and all of our time on the Earth has been uselessly squandered, with no second chance." It is not too late. Not yet.


Two Koreas agree on rare volcano talks next week

Thu Mar 24, 4:01 am ET

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea says scientists from the two Koreas will meet next week to discuss joint research into an active volcano extolled in the North as the sacred birthplace of leader Kim Jong Il.

The talks could spark a rare bit of cooperation between the Koreas.

North Korea offered last week to discuss joint research on volcanic activities at its Mount Paektu, the highest peak on the peninsula. South Korea later proposed the countries' civilian experts discuss the matter at a South Korean border village on March 29.

Seoul's Unification Ministry says the North agreed Thursday to the offer, saying it will send three volcanologists to the meeting.

The volcano last erupted in 1903, but minor earthquakes increased there between 2002 and 2005.


Maybe the oftimes seemingly indifferent Universe is sending us a brutal message about learning to be civilized.

I am not in the slightest a religious person, but perhaps --- perhaps there is a force far greater than anything that we could ever comprehend that is sending us a warning. I would like to think that this is a warning issued purposefully and sentiently out of some kind of love for Humankind.


Douglas Castle

Global Futurist, and
Chairman and CEO,

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