Non-Cohousing Community
From: Documania (dcmamail1.nai.net)
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 1997 06:03:32 -0500
I have found the strongest sense of community in environments where
residences are nowhere near each other.

Environment 1: Very rural areas. In these places, people spend much more
time gathering at local waterholes or eateries, or spend more time chatting
at local stores. Stopping and talking, or talking about each other, living
amid a population small enough that you know everybody's cars or houses or
family members by sight, can lead to a greater sense of connection than a
cozy neighborhood of closed doors and windows. Minding each other's
business has its negative side, of course, but its positive side is the
true neighborliness of helping strangers, having small parties, celebrating
small things, tossing friendly remarks in passing -- simply knowing who's
around and being on a smile-and-wave or smalltalk basis with everyone in
the area. Being part of a group because you're THERE.

Environment 2: Special interest groups. I belong to a small cadre of
autosports enthusiasts who participate in one of the lesser-known race
forms, and we gather 8 times a year in pursuit of our sport. In most
instances we camp at the site of the event or stay together at a m/hotel.
The combination of structure -- a competitive event -- and informal
silliness -- camping together in all sorts of weather for three days -- has
led to the most satisfying human relationship situation I've ever enjoyed.
This network of people, ages infant to 72, lives across six states but
extends incredible effort to stay connected, to support each other, and has
more fun, debates more meaningful issues, etc., than any other group of
people I've encountered.

Environment 3:  The Internet. This has allowed many isolated people to
connect with the world in more ways than I can count. I have acquired many
friends who I will probably never meet but would never have met otherwise.
Professionally, for the first time I found a group of like people in my
trade from whom I learn or who I can teach, with whom I share tricks of the
trade, who offer moral support and advice to each other, etc. Nothing of
the sort exists in my physical realm. Likewise with cohousing. The
connections made possible through the Net have tied me into the world in
ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

Between these environments, I am more plugged in to life than I was in any
other type of environment.

My $0.02 on the subject.

Carolyn Haley
dcma [at] ct1.nai.net

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