Author: M.K.R. Mossey
fourteen letters, six syllables and ten definitions which all boil down to one impact which has had a global reach almost unmatched by any other concept. Derived from the Latin word sustinere which means "to hold up", sustainability calls to mind the idea of our current actions supporting a positive future for generations to come. Co-operative enterprises strive to hold up their communities with equality, dignity and a conscious effort to be responsible for their members. They become the foundation on which strong communities are built and set up pillars of strength to support the longevity of those who work with and for each other through member-ownership.
In a world where humans have become numbers and massive corporations base their decisions upon money it's no wonder much of society has become disjointed. Taking the typical desultory ways of decision making and turning them into a democratic practise, each person sees them self of the same irreplaceable value. Like any well-operating machine all parts are of equal need, Co-operatives make this point clear through non-discrimination and total inclusion regardless of a member-owner's social or economical status.
Granting stewardship to each person who obtains membership in Co-operatives is a type of ingenuity which should be emulated. As a model of solidarity in uncertain times, Co-operatives tackled the challenges of days gone by and are empathetically embracing their members during the shaky economic standing of modern times. Through the seven co-operative principles each brand of the Co-op companies fulfil their members' present needs while giving forward into the future.
To join a Co-operative or Credit Union means more than adding yourself to a proud number of member-owners. It states a steadfast commitment to your Co-operative family, a group of people who are in like mind on the journey of raising fortified towns and communities. Each new member-owner becomes a building block whom can be built upon and simultaneously held up by fellow members. Human value is realised greatly when people understand the significance of their actions, when they feel needed and have a true feeling of comradery. Through connecting people via different Co-operative enterprises their worth is realised and all walks of life come together in fellowship while bridging the gaps which typically would separate them. Simply put, a member-ownership is a gift which cannot be marked by mere monetary value, the investment in a Co-operative membership means a long-lasting impact which lives on in both life and legacy.
So we can understand through the scope of Co-operative's well-principled, inclusive and community sustaining business model that there is more to a company than simple accumulation of profit. Co-operative's see their profit and find gratification through the impact they can leave on individuals, communities and even reach for the betterment of the developing world. As an organization which finds it's life-blood in people, there can be observed a unique method which has yet to be embraced by the corporate world. Looking into the past we see how Co-operatives thrive, facing forward into new generations I see a model for the future where leadership is sustained by the very foundation philosophies of Co-operatives. It does not take any stretch of the imagination to find how Co-operatives can continue to build a better world. The foundation has been laid by principles, the frame-work by dedicated communities and each member, brick by brick help to build up an ever growing, never ending enterprise of legendary proportion.