Re: Sweat equity: Trust and Community
From: Judy (BAXTER%EPIHUBVX.CIS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 94 11:17 CDT
Rob Sandelin Wrote:

<<A friend of mine, John Affolter, who has lived in and actively promoted 
intentional community for longer than I have been alive told me once 
that the measure of "community" within any living situation is how much 
the people involved can trust each other, and the level of personal 
sacrifice they are willing to make for the common good.

One of the main thing I see people looking into  cohousing are seeking 
is  community>>
..<<<It seems to me that trust is a key to community.  Willingness to give 
to the community of yourself and your things is another.  Open honest 
communication and a willingness to learn and change make up other key 
ingredients of the bread called community.>>

<<Applying all this to sweat equity, it would seem to me that if you are 
spending a lot of time creating and inventing "systems" for tracking 
and accountability of people, then perhaps your time might be better 
spent working on building community instead.>>

..<<Of course maybe cohousing really isn't community, its just a "more 
practical and convenient living arrangement".  And if that quote, which 
comes from some of the leadership of the cohousing movement, describes 
your goals as a cohousing group, I wish you the best of luck getting 
people to commit to anything. It would probably be better just to hire 
help and assess the costs to everyone.>>

Rob, I agree with most of what you say.  AND, I think it is important to
remember that there a levels and degrees of "community"-ness.  I think people
come to co-housing looking for different degrees of community, privacy,
sharing, etc.  And they change once they get there - sometimes in unexpected
ways.  And they have different levels of commitments and constraints placed on
their time by other things in their lives.  I have been very interested in
Scott Peck's stuff on Community (someone posted a summary of "A Different Drum"
on this list, quite a while ago).  But I am bothered by the sense that he gives
that the kind of communities he describes are the only "true" communities.   

I think and want cohousing to be more than just a more practical and convenient
living arrangement, much more, but I suspect some of that definition is an
attempt to avoid scaring off people by talking of things individualistic
Americans are afraid of (sharing, trust, sacrifice!!).  And I haven't got time
to get into more theoretical stuff.

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, (MoCoCo)
Twin Cities Area, Minneapolis/St.Paul Minnesota
e-mail: baxter [at] epivax.epi.umn.edu
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