Re: Following agreements
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 10:59:01 -0600 (MDT)
> I guess what's at the bottom of my curiosity is this: do other people
> consider meeting attendance a central requirement of living in a
> consensus-based community?  If so, then why is there so much trouble in
> getting people to show up? What are those instructive reasons for people
> not showing up, and do they generally hold water?

I think the reason for meetings needs to be examined. When universities
began, books were not available to students. Lectures were the only way to
communicate information. When books became readily available, most lectures
were obsolete because all the lecturers had been doing was reading their
notes. Students could do that themselves faster and more reliably than they
could take notes. Few lecturers were actually presenting unique information
or engaging the students in a meaningful transforming experience.

Meetings are the same way. Before there were inexpensive copying methods,
email, and web pages, meetings were the only way to communicate information
to a group of people. Now meetings as a way of getting information are
extremely time consuming (and boring for most of us who can read much
faster) and fairly inaccurate by comparison.

What meetings can do is enable discussion between members so members
understand each other on the various issues. Sometimes people just don't
want to spend the time listening to stuff they can read faster or feel that
the meeting will not contain any substantive information for them. Or that
there will not be any time for discussing issues they feel are important.

Sometimes they are not concerned with the issues being discussed and
whatever the group decides is fine with them so why appear? I would be very
concerned, however, about any members who didn't go to meetings because then
they didn't  have to agree to the decisions.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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