LESSON 12: COOPERATION WITH OTHERS
Many things cannot be done by one person alone. Without cooperation, little can be accomplished in this world. Think of all the people of the past who have worked together to help improve the world! Advances in medicine, the quality of the food we grow, discover ways to communicate with people in far-off places….
And we, too, work together in harmony in our class here, in our families and at school. Sometimes this means that we must be ready to give up what we want for ourselves for the good of the whole. We show kindness to those with whom we are working and patience when someone makes a mistake.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá often spoke about the importance of cooperation. Human beings are meant to cooperate and associate with one another. Through association, He told us, we find happiness and develop, as individuals and collectively as a group.
This is the last lesson to memorize the prayer below
O Lord God! Make us as waves of the sea, as flowers of the garden, united, agreed through the bounties of Thy love. O Lord! Dilate the breasts through the signs of Thy oneness, and make all mankind as stars shining from the same height of glory, as perfect fruits growing upon Thy tree of life. Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Self-Subsistent, the Giver, the Forgiving, the Pardoner, the Omniscient, the One Creator.—‘Abdu’l-Bahá
It is suggested that you put the following explanation into your own words in order to present the quotation for this lesson.
Knowing that we are members of one human family, we work together for the good of all. We cooperate with one another and do everything we can to contribute to goals we all share. Many things cannot be done by one person alone. Without cooperation, little can be accomplished in this world. For a home to be kept tidy, all the members of the family
must make sure to put things in their proper place. For a bridge to be built, many people must work together and contribute their time and energy. To improve the quality of the food we grow, to make advances in medicine, to discover ways to communicate with people in far-off places—these and so many other wonderful things we have talked about in our classes are the result of cooperation.
Think of all the people of the past who have worked together to help improve the world. And we, too, work together in harmony in our class here, in our families, and at school. Sometimes this means that we must be ready to give up what we want for ourselves for the good of the whole. We show kindness to those with whom we are working and patience when someone makes a mistake.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá often spoke about the importance of cooperation. Some creatures can live solitary and alone, He explained. A tree, for example, can live without the assistance and cooperation of other trees. Some animals, too, exist in isolation, away from other animals of their kind. But human beings are meant to cooperate and associate with one another.
Through association, He told us, we find happiness and develop, as individuals and collectively as a group. To always be reminded that we should cooperate with one another, let us memorize the following quotation:
The supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity‘Abdu’l-Bahá
MEANING OF WORDS
Everything in the universe was created by God. He is the Supreme Creator.
More than anything else, Daniel wants to serve his fellow human beings. His supreme wish is to serve others.
It is not unusual to see two or three ants carrying a large bit of food together. Only when they cooperate can ants carry such large, heavy objects.
When everyone works together to reach a goal, they feel united and happy. Cooperation helps to build unity.
The village where Zhu Li lives grows many vegetables and other crops. Li Li lives in the village nearby that raises animals. Each village provides the other with what it needs. Because of reciprocity, both villages prosper.
Meera has plenty of water in her well and helps Fabio by watering the plants in his garden. Fabio is good at climbing and helps Meera by picking fruit from the trees in her yard. Fabio and Meera understand the importance of reciprocity.
MEMORIZATION AID FOR QUOTE
PICTURES TO REMEMBER THE QUOTE HERE
A Story About Cooperation
The following story will illustrate for the children what can be accomplished through cooperation:
During ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s travels in America, one of the places He visited was a special piece of land that had been purchased in order to build a Bahá’í House of Worship, a beautiful edifice where all people could come and commune with God. Before construction on the House of Worship began, a gathering was held to say prayers on that spot, after which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would lay with His own hands the first stone of the
building: The Cornerstone. One of the friends, a lady named Nettie Tobin, longed to give something to help build the House of Worship. She did not have any money to offer, but the day before the meeting, she had an idea. She went to a building under construction near her home. Cast off to the side was a pile of large stones, and she asked whether she might take one. “Help yourself,” said the builder. “These are rejected.” You see, the builder needed a particular kind of stone, and the ones in the pile could not be used. Nettie chose a stone but discovered that it was too heavy for her to lift. So, she went home and got an old baby carriage, loaded the stone into it, and wheeled it home. That was as far as she could manage on her own.
Now, in those days, many cities had streetcars to take people from one place to another, much like we have buses today. And, with the help of a friend, Nettie took the stone on three streetcars the next morning. Together, they lifted the baby carriage onto the first streetcar, then off again. They waited for the second streetcar, loaded the carriage onto it
and then off again, and finally heaved it onto the third streetcar, which took them close to the spot where the House of Worship was to be built. There was still some distance to walk, and the two friends started pushing the baby carriage over the broken pavement. But suddenly it collapsed. They were at a loss what to do. Even together the two of them could not carry the heavy stone the remaining distance. It was late, and the gathering had already started. After such a long journey, it seemed that Nettie and her friend would miss everything.
Just then, two boys with an express wagon came along. With their help, the stone was loaded into the wagon, and off they all went to the gathering—Nettie, her friend, the two boys, and the stone. Imagine Nettie’s joy when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá chose that stone to be the cornerstone and laid it in the ground. In time, a beautiful House of Worship was built on that piece of land, and the stone which Nettie and her friend and the two boys worked together to bring to that spot is still there to this day.
Draw any part of the story
DRAMA / GAMES
To assist the children in developing further their skills and abilities to perform creative drama, you may have them do the following activities:
Ask your students to stand in their imaginary squares. As you did in the previous lesson, have the children stand about 5 feet apart and imagine that they are in their own squares. Ask them to walk along the border of his/her imaginary square.
Ask children to: raise up your arms and stretch from the tips of their toes to the tips of their fingers, reaching towards the sky. Now they are going to relax and let their arms and heads hang freely. Repeat this several times.
Next, I ask you children to pretend to be some things, which they have to act out (have on 8 slips that kids can draw out on ONE COLOR PAPER):
- A teardrop
- A cloud
- An umbrella in the wind
- A boiling egg
- A spinning top
- An airplane
- A car
- A rocking chair
Now they are going to start walking around. As always they should be careful not to bump into one another. We are going to pretend that we are “walking in someone else’s shoes”. Children can then take turns picking a slip and telling the class in whose shoes they will be walking (have on 10 slips that are on a DIFFERENT COLOR OF PAPER).
- A baby who has just learned to walk
- A huge faint
- Someone in a great hurry
- Someone who has poor eyesight
- Someone who is walking a dog on a leash
- Someone whose foot is caught in a bucket
- Someone carrying something on his or her head
- Someone who has stepped on a thorn
- Someone walking on hot sand
- An astronaut on the moon
After taking the students through the above exercises, you can move on to the activities related to the theme of this lesson, COOPERATION. Begin by reminding the children that there are many things in this world which we cannot do alone and which require cooperation if they are to be achieved.
Divide the children into small groups. Ask them to name some large, heavy objects. First have each child pretend to move one of the objects, by him or herself, from one point to another, for example, between two trees or across the room. Next each group should pretend to move the object together. Afterwards, ask the children a few questions: Was it easy to move such a heavy object alone? What happened when you worked together as a group to move it?
Now I’d like you to think of some situations that you can act out in which people need to work together to reach a goal. For example:
- using a ladder to retrieve an object on a high shelf
- trying to take a large object from one room to another through a locked door
- making sure a picture is hanging straight
THINK OF YOUR OWN SCENARIO in your group. You can also think of a scenario that requires a group to complete a task in which responsibility is shared- for instance, a family working together to make a home ready to receive guests, prepare a meal, or washing and dry dishes.
Finally, you are going to act out the story of Nettie and the cornerstone. Of course, because we want to be reverent, we will NOT be acting out Abdu’l-Baha, so your re-enactment should end at the arrival of Nettie and her companions at the meeting, and the conclusion of the story could then just be told by you or one of the students.
DOWNLOAD COMPONENTS HERE
DRAW A MURAL
What better way to cooperate than to do a piece of art together? Choose a theme and have everyone draw, color, or glue their contribution.
We used this activity in our community and in Girl Guides. It does need a little prep here is what you do:
Get a long nail ( 3 to 4 inches and a small block of plywood wood about 5 to 6 inches long. Hammer the nail half an inch into the center of the block
Now you will need more long nails, I used 12 but you can use the number of people in the class. The object is to see how to balance the nails on the one hammered into the block.
Have the kids try.
Look at this video. below I had the kids stack the nails as I held the one nail
Reciprocity means the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.
Let us make a waving hand for all those who did a great job at practicing Reciprocity and Cooperation
To make this:
Download the PDF with instructions here
Template pieces to cut here
DRAW SCENES FROM THE STORY
Review the quotation from today’s lesson, and then remind the children of the qualities of trustworthiness and radiance and the quotations they memorized in Grade 1:
O Son of Being! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than MeBaha’u’llah
. . let your adorning be forgiveness and mercy and that which cheereth the hearts of the well-favored of God.Baha’u’llah