|RE: amount of rules||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (RobsanExchange.MICROSOFT.com)|
|Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 11:41:06 -0500|
As you come together to form community you will find yourself in the midst of large amounts of agreements. A collaborative, cooperative process such as cohousing is absolutely chock full of agreements about all manners of things, from the color of the tile in the kitchens, to the kind of light bulbs in the commonhouse, to whether to hold community dinner at 5:30, or 6pm, How late loud noise is OK, and on and on and on. You will also find that your collective memory of things is poor. Whatever you agree on today half the group will misremember 4 months from know. So, hopefully you write these many things down somewheres, like in the records you keep at meetings. If you are really organized, some person will extract the ongoing operational agreements you make and put them on a separate list, so when you want to review them 6 months later, you can find them again easily. Thus a list of agreements is born. If you are really well organized you might have the date the agreement was made, the reason for the agreement or what you want the agreement to accomplish, and then the details. If you can manage to get 24-30 households invested in a cooperative community without quite a few operational agreements I think you would be quite exceptional as a group, perhaps even worthy of a major research project. Life in a community requires agreements, because every single day you are intimately connected with a large number of people, all using the same common space. What works for 3 people in a conversation, needs at least to be documented somehow so everybody else who was not part of the conversation knows what went on. One difficult aspect of trying to get people living together in some reasonable state of harmony, is broadcasting communications that everyone needs to know about. You can do this by holding lots of large group meetings, or you can find other ways, like bulletin boards, newsletters, etc. "The rules" are a record of the conversations and agreements that the whole group has had to date. Written agreements are also conflict mediators. Here is what we agreed to about THAT so far. Its usually very clear and new folks coming in get a clear message. Agreements can usually be changed with the same process that created them and so moving in doesn't mean you have to live with an agreement forever, just until you can get it modified. Very simple agreements can be remembered, like the bike helmet, other agreements with several details, such as a pet policy, or architectural standards, need to be written down. However, conveying unwritten agreements can very sort of, inexact. Its good to write things down. You will also find, as your group ages, that there becomes a large, undocumented culture of how things are, that is not really possible to explain all at once, but is knowlege new members must accumulate over time. Why do all the kids bikes get parked there? Why do we have a party every year at the winter solstice? Your community culture will grow as well, and the longer you are together as a group, the longer your shared history and culture becomes a part of who you are. Like the time 3 kids all started riding two wheeler bikes on the same afternoon. Or the remember the time Nicks shirt caught fire at the Christmas party? These shared experiences are like an invisable glue which bind you together as partipants of the grand and noble venture we call community. There is an essay coming about the role of agreements and its relationship to the age and stability of the community. But not today. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood
Re: amount of rules Buzz Burrell, July 29 1996
- RE: amount of rules Rob Sandelin (Exchange), July 29 1996
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