Re: Building "community"
From: Stuart Staniford-Chen (
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 94 00:00 CST

Geoff Mamlet and Hannah Bloch write:

> So here are our questions to all of you:
> 1)  Does this sound familiar?

Yes, definitely.  Our group certainly has a wide range of attitudes towards 
"touchy-feely" stuff of all kinds, and other groups I have talked to have 
the same issues.  I would guess that you'll get more agreement than you
have now over time, but not perfect agreement.

I have been thinking a lot about these things recently.  
In the past I have definitely been well over in the camp of people who like 
to get things done and measure progress in terms of the physical 
infrastructure.  Now, I am coming to feel that, although that view of 
things is important, it's also very important to think about the 
relationships between people.  In the long term, bad feelings between folks 
can seriously interfere with the physical progress.  And in the still 
longer term, if it isn't fun, if you don't end up liking almost all of the 
other people you live with, what's the point?

> 2)  How have other groups dealt with members' differing levels of emphasis
>     on "community" versus concrete issues (excuse the pun)?
What I would suggest is: leave room for both ends of the spectrum.  Don't 
force people who are mainly interested in building stuff to spend a lot of 
time writing vision statements, engaging in rituals, planning parties, or 
developing conflict management strategies.  On the other hand, encourage 
those folks that are excited about some of those things to work on them.  Try 
to have people respect both things as important contributions to the 

N St Cohousing
stanifor [at]

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