Re: Differences in income/work effort are OK
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 13:57:15 -0700 (MST)
Here! Here!  Thank you Rob!  

Ron Petralito of Liberty Village often says there is a difference
between being "fair" and being "equal."  And I agree -- if you try to be
"equal" on everything this is where you start keeping count of
contributions and infractions ending up w/ lists of figures that do
nothing except contribute to ill will.  Volunteer because YOU want to
and stop measuring your happiness by other's work committment.  No one
is going to be as committed or work as hard as you are.  Some people
will never volunteer or work beyond the very minimum.  And it's hard to
remember sometimes that their contribution is:  they bought a unit in
this community and, by that, made it happen for all of us.  As the poet
said: "they also serve who only stand and wait."

Have fun in all that you do in cohousing -- otherwise the effort isn't
worth it.  Ann Z.  Takoma Village

Rob Sandelin wrote:
> In the recent threads about work, servants, etc. there is a common notion
> which I would like to try to debunk, the notion that it has to be equal.
> Baloney! Insisting upon equality of contribution is not necessarily a good
> thing, and making the lowest common equal denominator of money or time the
> balancing point is a bad idea. Let those with more time, interest, energy
> and money do more. Its ok. It works out best if you get good at saying thank
> you when people contribute. Encourage donations. Encourage unbridled
> volunteerism and don't get hung up that everybody has to do the same amount
> or pay the same amount. People who whine about it being unfair should just
> stop contributing more than they want to. Encourage those who do, to step
> up.
> It should be OK for the group to pass the hat and then count up what you
> get, then ask for more and see what you get. You might be surprised. If you
> measure common element success by the hours of use, then the playground at
> Sharingwood is clearly our most successful common element. The entire cost
> and energy to build it came from volunteer donations of money ($600) and
> time. But I can count on the fingers of my hands who was involved. And it
> does not matter in the least to the children, they just share the happiness
> of having it, and that, is what matters.
> When you can give service to another, and do so truly anonymously, where you
> honestly expect no return, nor any recognition, then you have acheived a big
> step towards enlightenment, and the world changes and becomes better.
> Rob Sandelin
> Northwest Intentional Communties Association
> Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

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