Tools for Cooperative Living

Chapter 7
Tools for Creating Cooperative Groups

One of the core value shifts of this book is toward the recognition of the importance of people and cooperation in our lives. For how can we make space in our lives for self-care, pursuit of our desires, and strong relationships if we are busy working all day every day to pay for our basic needs? Part of the purpose of tribe is to share the burden of bread labor so that each person has more free time. That way the bills get paid, food is on the table, laundry gets washed, and we still have time to stretch, work on co-creative projects, and play with the kids.

Furthermore, there is no amount of meditation, time in nature, or journaling we can do to equal the effectiveness of mirroring for our personal growth. We need community, not just for security and sustenance but also for emotional well-being, inspiration, and growth. When we are alone and we stray from harmonious balanced living, it is extremely hard to see where the slip happened (or, sometimes, to even notice it happening!). If we can’t see what happened, we can’t change it. This is where our kin/family come in. It is easy to clearly observe other people’s interactions and comment constructively on them, but it is much harder to see our own interactions clearly. In this way, our kin provide a mirror to us of what our interactions and experiences look like in the world from an outside perspective. This is perhaps the most valuable thing living in cooperative groups offers us (provided the advice/commentary isn’t biased by emotional triggering or desire for control).

How can we create genuine community in the context of the culture we live in now? In this section, we explore key logistical and interpersonal aspects of attempting to build cooperative kin groups within the context of our current society.

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