Studying at PRECE

Studying at PRECE
Students from PRECE study together under the juazeiro tree in small groups using cooperative learning

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Law of Interdependency

This morning when I returned to the world of the internet after being in the interior for the weekend my Facebook newsfeed, email inbox and news updates were dominated by two things: Obama’s announcement for re-election and the already energized Republican campaigns… and the Butler Bulldogs heading to the NCAA Championship (go Bulldogs!). Both are dominated by the idea of competition. Only one person/team can win. Only one will succeed. Only one will be given the title. Granted- Butler has got to have 5 men on the court playing together and Obama and the Republican candidates need a team of leaders to win. But, when it is all said and done; only one is victorious. This inevitably means that the others lose. This message of competition stands in stark contrast to the message of cooperation and cooperative learning upon which PRECE stands. The message of cooperation creates a foundation upon which all succeed rather than just one. The entire community develops and improves because of the cooperative actions off all invested individuals. This past weekend PRECE leaders continued with the conferences on Cooperative Learning where we are helping all facilitators better understand the history of PRECE, the methodology of cooperative learning and the vision of the movement. One of the workshops was titled “The Law of Interdependency”. The message is simple: Nature functions interdependently with all natural items working in tandem. The trees need the sun and rain to grow and flourish. Without the sun and rain the trees will perish. Likewise, people need one another to grow and flourish. Without one another we will perish. And, when we work in contrast to this idea of interdependency we are working against nature. But, so often, we design systems of operation which make us believe that we are better off without others, that we must beat others to find our own success, that we must work independently rather than interdependently. Why is this? All my life I have been an athlete and all my life I learned that in order to win- a gymnastics meet, a tennis match, a 200 yard dash- I had to be better than everyone else. Two of us couldn’t win. There is no such thing as a tie in a tennis match (just ask John Isner and Nicholas Mahut who played for 11 hours and 5 minutes and 183 games during Wimbledon 2010). So, it is deeply ingrained in me that in order to achieve success I have to be better than someone else. I think that is how many of us were taught to think. PRECE, through cooperative learning, provides a different methodology. There is never just one person who wins the race or walks away with the title. The journey might be longer and it might appear to be more strenuous at times. But, at the end an entire community, an entire city, an entire state is empowered and everyone “wins”. Through this law of interdependency everyone remains connected and in “right relation” with the other. Everyone rises and falls together and the entire entity makes strides toward progress. “Human longing and capacity for active struggle toward justice [are] born of the aspiration for rightly related community.” – Beverly Wildung Harrison

Though this group looks pretty awesome, I am not endorsing them... just supporting their great video! :)

1 comment:

  1. Querida kacy, você é muito especial, não é por acaso que você veio parar no Prece. Parabéns! pelo excelente texto. Adorei!