Acting together, with mutual enjoyment
You may find different definitions, like pursuing the same goal, helping each other or following rules and requests.
Feel free to believe in the one that resonate with you most. We compared many of them and the one we understood was worth of spreading was the one based on mutual enjoyment:
Cooperation is acting together neutrally with mutual enjoyment
Feeling good together
It's like preparing a dinner together with friends bringing some food: you feel good and establish good relations while everybody enjoys the meal. When you compete in a market and someone loses, you're not neutral. Even when you are driven by a noble altruism and help someone it's not a cooperation but altruism: someone gets more than you and you are okay with it. Also alliances against a third party aren't a cooperation at all: people in mafia help each other, but at the expenses of someone else. Cooperation is therefore a balance of egoism and altruism, in which everybody enjoys the interaction. Even better, cooperation is being aware of complexity.
Joining awareness and competition
If you're linear, you may resemble a very selfish man ending up with no advantages once his reputation is gone. Otherwise you could be a profound altruist person, but lack of self respect and be even poorly effective in helping.
When your intentions embrace complexity instead, you start considering many perspectives, including yourself and the environment. You coordinate the diverse perspectives and your actions gain awareness. An aware competition may paradoxically transform itself in a cooperation.
Feel free to proceed in this learning area of the website. Cycle through the conditions of cooperation: Equivalence, Trust, Care, Transparency, Freedom, Understanding, Diversity. If you desire a better comprehension, join Cooperacy and participate to the online webinars, free for every member.