On Unity

Dear members,

Tom Robbins, an American novelist with a gift for exploring odd and interesting themes, once wrote about a mockingbird in South Carolina that was heard blending the melodies of 32 different kinds of birds into one amazing 10-minute solo performance. He described this feat as, “a virtuoso display that serves no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.”

I love this story because, to me, it speaks to the power of unity. At its best this is what unity should be, many different voices blended into one. The only point of departure for me is that I disagree that it serves no practical purpose. On a practical level, this story can remind us that even though we all want to preserve and encourage individuality, there is also great security in knowing you’re never alone.

For another way of looking at this, I turn to the great sport of soccer (known as football outside of the U.S., of course). Although I am a Fulham Football Club supporter, Liverpool Football Club’s theme, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” has always resonated with me. It’s incredibly moving to hear an arena filled with thousands of Liverpool fans singing this theme song in unison. For one of the best versions ever filmed, go here.

The point is that, at our co-op, we talk a lot about teamwork and how it helps to make our business stronger and more efficient. This is true, but there’s more to it than that. We are also here to support and get support from each other. Here none of us are alone. Our members and employees depend on each other, which is what cooperation is all about.

My thanks to all of our members for the great team you have built here. I’m honored to be a part of it. Want to talk more about this? Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open.



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Ed Fox

Ed Fox is the Co-op General Manager. To contact, email EdFox@coopfoodstore.com.

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