Cooperation

Fixing a flat, Aribi-style

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

On Aribi’s ride last week, a bike went flat during our lunch break. And no one person had all that was needed to fix it, but between the twelve or so of us we scraped together the tools and parts necessary and several people contributed no material things but rather skill. I am proud to say that I contributed the bicycle pump.

At the time I thought it was all so very ideal, the perfect situation to illustrate how we are stronger as a group. It’s so easy when there is a very clear goal, something non-negotiable, no varying ways of going about it, no differing values. Everyone contributes something positive, or stands around keeping the others company, keeping spirits up.

It’s a lot harder when the goals are either less tangible, or simply not exactly the same. I am discouraged, usually, by the meetings I am a part of with groups: the apartment building, the bike group, the consumers’ group. And not with others, but with myself. I don’t really know how to be a part of a group, or rather, a helpful part. I don’t know what I have to contribute. I don’t know what my bicycle pump is.

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