maiden post
From: Gregory D. Wadlinger (Gregory.D.WadlingerDartmouth.EDU)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 12:16 CDT
        I am a new homeowner (sans garage) as of this past April, and the
process of finding and affording my home piqued my interest in housing,
financing, and neighborhood issues.  

        I am also interested in participating in a forum that addresses
community dynamics because years ago my church promoted some experimentation
in cooperative living involving two and more families sharing housing
resources and responsibilities.  At the time I was a college student
attending the church, and I mostly just hung back from the issues and
observed (retreated to dorm and dining hall, I'm afraid).  What I concluded
from this period of looking on is that the theory of living closely with
people you want to trust and are learning to effectively love is much more
attractive than the practice often works out to be.  Unfortunately I saw
less-than-forthright folks taking advantage of good-hearted folks, and I saw
dominant personalities unwittingly coerce submissive codependents to follow
their ways in this and that.

        There is something in me, however, that yearns to share in the
realization of the kind of New Testament Christian community hinted at in the
book of Acts, the idea that prompted my fellows some time back try out their
thing.  I am aware of how isolated I feel at times (I work 65 hours/week and
volunteer in youth sports programs) from the people I most love to be with,
including my in laws (amazing, huh?).  I strongly desire to reduce this
isolation, because I know there is a better way!!

        While I have deferred entertaining how participating in a planned
community might help me to connect better with my friends, preferring instead
the abiding hope that advances in efficient personal time utilization (or
winning the lottery) will enhance my prospects at social fulfillment,  I
would now like to find out more about what the folks on this list, and other
concerned people, think.

        The thread on community activism has me a little wary, frankly. 
Certainly nothing binds together like adversity, but this knocks frequently
enough on my door uninvited that to hang a sign out front welcoming it seems
contrary to my goals.   I would be more open to having a block workday for
Habitat for Humanity than for holding meetings to oppose development projects
and nurturing a reputation as a pain in the collective groin.

        At this point in my life I want to feel supported, listened to,
needed...(warm and fuzzy?).  I want my daughter, who will be born any day
now, to have neighbors who, along with her father and mother, can qualify as
role models and *heroes* rather than as people she will vent on about on the
next Sally Jesse Raphael show.

        Does a planned community hold out any prospect for facilitating this,
or are these circumstances rather to be *lucked into* in our lives?  If the
latter, I guess I'll stay put and take my chances.  Maybe Robert Frost's
Mending Wall is the best insight available on having good neighbors.

Thanks for having me.  Hope to hear from you all soon.

Greg

wadlinger [at] dartmouth.edu
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