|RE: Minimum Work Requirements||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)|
|Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 08:37:41 -0600 (MDT)|
"Rob Sandelin" <floriferous [at] msn.com> is the author of the message below but due to a problem it was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager: fholson [at] cohousing.org To get off Cohousing-L, send email with UNSUBSCRIBE COHOUSING-L in the msg body to: listproc [at] cohousing.org Questions? email Fred - addr above -------------------- FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS -------------------- In travelling around various communites this issue comes up in basically every community I have ever visited (well over 100 at this point). And I keep seeing the same reality about work. On one side of the curve are people who put in lots of energy into community stuff. Their numbers are small, say 20%. On the other side are people who put in little energy into community stuff. Hopefully their numbers are about balanced with the hyper folks, also about 20%. The remaining 60% are all somewhere in the middle, sometimes on the the more energy side, sometimes on the less side. I keep seeing this distribution so frequently it has become to define normal community functioning in my estimation. There are some good tools where you can get a good idea of the distribution of work time in your community. >From my experience: The wrong question to ask is: Is this distribution fair? The right question to ask is: Are people happy? Good communication, attitude and process work will go a long ways to increasing the happiness with the reality that exists, and make where you live a wonderful place. It's not a good sign in a community when all the work gets done but nobody is happy. Guilt and resentment are community cancers, they eat away at your relationships and cause great, and unnecessary unhappiness. I saw a banner over the door of a community center once that read something like this: I am not here to live up to your expectations, and you don't have to live up to mine. Together we can work to create the harmony we want to live in, without guilt or shame. People are different. To some folks the old fence is just fine as it is. To others, they want to tear it down and make a project out of it, (its old and ugly) build a new one, and paint it so its neat and trim. This difference drives wedges between people about community work. Each see the "fence project" differently. One says it's not important, the other says it's a priority because its not neat and tidy. Each sees themselves as the "right" way to be, and the others are: "odd, wrong, weird, overacheivers, lazy, hyper, uncommitted, anal retentive"...the labels go on and on. But they just point out that while some folks see things one way, others see it different. I once did an excercise where I had a group make a list of all the projects they thought needed doing in the community. Some peoples lists had more than 40 things on it. Other peoples list had 1 or 2 items on it, a couple had zero. The point was not the content of the lists, but the difference in the numbers of things on the list and what that meant. This kind of learning about yourself, and each other, to understand how you think and see the world is very worth doing if you want to live happily ever after in a community. Rob Sandelin Community Works! Group process consulting for social change nonprofits
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