|Re: the early years/reply||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: 'Judith Wisdom (wisdompobox.upenn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 00:47:03 -0600|
Blaise and others, In my answer-post to you I didn't mean to paint the Quakers (but I'm afraid I did) with such a broad conservative brush as to in any way undermine their wonderful progressive tradition with all manner of things, most especially when it comes to what they did with respect to universal peace and opposition to the Vietnam war, of which I too was a part, and relied on their support. I was only referring to them as part of a socially conservative (as in resistant to new and hip formations) streak in the city. There are many Quakers who are not progressive culturally and socially but are politically. They're a complex group. But that you were reluctant to invite well-known cohousing speakers here is (I think) proof of our social/cultural slowness/backwardness. Most people wouldn't know. Most people, virtually all people, I talk to about coho know nothing about it. More importantly is your issue (and mine) they're not interested for themselves. Hence my suggestion to do a modified coho to start (a coho in organization and human relationship that would dig into an already extant neigbhorhood and relate in coho ways but allow for more independence, allowing people, e.g., to feel freer to be able to sell their property, and also not to look too too communal. I personally think that might draw like-minded people in the neigbhorhood in. Maybe for starters sharing in the buying of fuel or household products. Participating in some group meals. That could then spawn some publicity and ultimately a "real" coho community. I love Philadelphia but I dislike it also. It is beautiful, it has lots of good "culture," and many, many interesting people of accomplishment. But its life is very fragmented and cliquey so that many of these wonderful people remain hidden and not available, stuck in their enclaves, snubbing newcomers. They're not bad people. It's social ethos, the same ethos that has this city inhospitable to new forms, be it in medicine, social arrangements, or creative deviance. Even the wonderful Quakers, many of whom I adore and revere, can be very, very straightarrow here. This all has to be comprehended and taken into consideration when starting something new. And this is why I think (emphasis on "think" because this is complex) that places like Philly need to be treated differently when it comes to introducing new things. We're not alone. It's just the case example of this sort of thing I know best. Russell M from Collaborative Housing, I believe, (I don't want to put words in his mouth and wish he'd comment), said that cities have souls. This is close to what I'm talking about and these "souls" are the cultural "soil" in which coho or anything must take root. And any good gardner knows that you can't plant every variety everywhere, and in someplaces to plant something you have to make lots of preparations to make it grow. I hope I haven't not needed to say this, to explicate. But I felt Blaise's reference to what I said seemed unfair to the Quakers and more simplistic than I intended, and thus would do no good to the subject at hand, which is relevant beyond Philadelphia. Judith Wisdom
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