Re: Some advice for forming communities
From: Robert P. Arjet (rarjetLearnLink.Emory.Edu)
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 10:25:01 -0700 (MST)
cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org writes:
>Don't spend a lot of time on issues
>like TV until you have lived together for awhile. It's a huge waster of
>time
>because no matter how much you read about community, the experience of the
>reality is very different and you will just end up redoing many decisions
>based on the reality.

Hmmm.  I'm not sure what I think about this, because a recent thread that
I found very helpful (one of the offshoots from the infamous "cats"
thread) was about the importance of working out some of these sticky
policies *before* moving in together.  (early September, if anyone's
interested).  I certainly am a big proponent of not buying unnecessary
trouble, but it would seem to make sense to at least make sure we're all
on the same page with the "top ten cohousing issues" ( pets, common meals,
kids, etc.).  I would hate to find out two months after move-in that there
was a serious spit in attitudes about a difficult topic. 

One post said: "I wanted to respond to the idea of examining assumptions. 
If you 
are a forming community, I can't think of anything more important to
discuss (other than land search and building, of course).  I think the
biggest shock here after move-in was discovering how very different all of
our assumptions were.  I think it is easy to form an idea in your mind of
"how cohousing will be" - and then be startled to find each person had a
different vision in 
their mind."

If the above is right, then maybe examining some of the assumptions about
TV--and discussing various solutions--would be very important.  How might
a pre-construction group balance the need to get assumptions out in the
open against the futility of hammering out controversial policies with
people who may not even move in? 

Robert Arjet
Central Austin Cohousing
http://www.austincohousing.org

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