What is an Association?
An association is a group of people who cooperate based on some common idea, interest or goal. They share a common bond that unites them. People associate with others in organizations that represent their joint purposes.
"Two heads are better than one."
Life is enriched by many voluntary and involuntary associations: families, businesses and governments. Society benefits as people pool their talents together. One can bake the food, one can heal the sick and one can teach the children.
In the long run, an association of a group of people can accomplish more than individuals acting separately. The "Economic Law of Comparative Advantage" teaches how all nations can benefit through markets that make a larger diversity of products available. Our supermarkets have numerous goods - oranges, fish and tea - that can not be found in all geographical locations due to trade associations.
There are many levels of associations: casual, informal and formal.
We might casually associate with some friends or acquaintances. We might go to a music concert, a movie theater or sports event associating with other fans. We may not know much about who these fans are, our association is casual.
People associate informally with one another. If they all sign up for a social networking website, then there is some common interest. They are only informally connecting with others.
A more formal association has a core articulated goal or organized structure. The Universal Life Church Monastery is an association of people who believe that a positive attitude, healthy diet and clear mind keep the mind, heart, soul and body strong and healthy. The Universal Life Church believes in the universal doctrine - "Do only that which is right."
People who agree with these spiritual principles can act collectively in deciding issues through an association. When they join together, their talents are maximized into a united front by which all benefit. All can bear the struggle and enjoy the fruits of making the world a better place.