Cooperation is Higher than Integrity

Today I heard a wonderful story. A devotee wrote Prabhupada because he disagreed with the tactics devotees were using to raise donations, tactics supported by the Temple President. He expressed his specific concerns in his letter to Prabhupada.

In Prabhupada’s reply, he did not address the issue. He did not say he favored one idea over the other. All he said was, “I just want you to work well together.”

Some argue that it is not right to cooperate when we believe that something wrong is being done. Yet Prabhupada makes it clear that more important than who or what is right, is learning to work well together despite our differences. Some will say this is a compromise of one’s individual integrity because one is acting against one’s core beliefs.

It doesn’t mean we remain silent or pretend nothing is wrong. What it means is we mature to a level in which we can still work enthusiastically and cooperatively even when we disagree. I would call this a far higher form of integrity than non-cooperation. And what is the use of that “integrity” that ignores Prabhupada’s desire?

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