|Re: Cohousing stories||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: bdsullivan (bdsullivancuhk.hk)|
|Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 10:10:06 -0600|
Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday too all. I just watched Scrooge last night on TV ( a good story for Hong Kong) and it made me think that some of the best mail I have read on the cohousing listing have been feel good stories of life in cohousing. For example I found the idea of unemployed members working for the community a feel good story. So I thought it might be nice for others to share their happy stories of life in cohousing. Not general feelings but a real story. The idea here is also to let lurkers see the end product of all the meetings and discussions and issues that cohousers have gone through. In fact, I guess the listing is much like a real meeting where much business is discussed. However, lurkers do not have the benefit of seeing or experiencing these results and I worry that some are becoming discouraged by some of the talk. So let's talk positive. My story. (Inspired by our guy with a fancy sterio.) Years back when I had a cooperative arrangement in my own house, we were looking for a new roommate. Steven answered our add and arrived for his interview. He drove a brand new fast car (this turned me off) he was wearing a business suit (this really turned me off) his hair was either wet or greased back (now I'm sliding off too) and the worst to come was it turned out he was a BANKER. I quickly decided his interview would be a waste of my time. But, he bothered to come so I figured he deserved the interview. After describing our cooperative lifestyle, group diners, and other stuff he then told me more about himself. The more he talked, the more I liked him! He loved the house, the way we lived, and the neighborhood ( a run down part of Boston with mixed ethnic groups -- not for most) and all the stuff we discussed. Then I found out he was a musician and the suit and stuff was because he had driven by the house earlier and liked it so much he wanted to impress us with his maturity. So he returned to his house, got dressed up etc in order to put on a good face. Well to shorten the story, Steven moved in. He was 100% opposite from other members. He spent more money on unnecessary things and in fact had maxed out his credit cards. But he was an absolute joy to live with. He brought happiness into our house, shared his "wealth" by buying gifts all the time. The best part was Steve made friends with twice as many neighbors as I had managed to do. He invited them to our diners and soon our group diner turned into a neighborhood diner. My previous attempts at making community by removing fences had been outperformed by Steve's great ability to make friends and invite them to jump over the fences. Our neighborhood became the envy of all our friends. I have to believe it was because of Steve. Now almost 10 years later,Steve and I are gone but people are still jumping over the fences. The strength of the neighborhood started then has prevailed. The moral here I hope is clear. Everyone can contribute! I talked a good cooperative line, steve did not. But Steve lived it naturally while I struggle with it. Other members of our informal cohousing neighborhood included an old Irish woman, a gay couple, a union organizer, a developer, etc. I believe none of these folks would end up in cohousing as it is today. But they liked "Natural Cohousing." Yet, once in they can bring great love, sharing and diversity. I for one would invite anyone of any belief into my community if they want to be there and participate. I learn, they learn, and more ideas are better than mine. Brian D. Sullivan, Lecturer Department of Architecture Chinese University of Honk Kong email bdsullivan [at] cuhk.hk
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