Re: business vs personal is a misleading dichotomy
From: Cheryl A. Charis-Graves (
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 10:17:00 -0600 (MDT)
This is an interesting example of how we human beings are a diverse lot. 
It particularly highlights the differences in the meaning we attach to 
certain words, and exemplifies the challenge of coming to a common 
perspective. I, personally, don't connote the term "business meeting" in 
the way described. I see it as "accomplishing tasks," whatever those 
might be. In our community, that might mean funding for tree trimming. 
Or purchase of a hot tub. Or putting in an electronic dog run. Some 
tasks about which we need to make decisions carry more emotional juice 
than others. Even tree trimming, however, creates a stir for some, and 
for very different reasons.  

I did see the community as a vehicle for meeting my personal needs when 
I first moved in. I was newly separated and lonely. I worked very hard, 
contributed as much in time and effort as three or four people, so that 
others could feel more relaxed and have more time to spend in community 
? hopefully with me. Kind of a pitiful equation when I think of it now.

In that respect, I have to say I had to come to the place where the 
community "broke my heart" when it/they COULDN'T meet my personal needs. 
Now, I'm glad of that, because I had to figure out how to be responsible 
for my own feelings, my own needs, and now my heart is fine. (And I am 
still single and unattached!) That wouldn't be true if I were still 
looking to and/or depending on the community to meet my personal needs.

We have been using a term in our community ? social capital ? to denote 
the "wealth" created when people are working together to generate 
healthy interdependence. We invest our time and our resources when we 
choose to interact with one another, whether that is laying brick pavers 
for a community walkway or walking the labyrinth together under a full 

Communities are as diverse as individuals in the way they address their 
unique challenges. I cotton to the idea of a "gathering of the heart" to 
give time to expression of feelings and needs which may not have a 
"forum" in the "business" meeting. That is what would best meet my 
personal needs. Maybe that works for my community and maybe it does not. 
Like any family, we have to sort that out together. And, like in some 
families, my personal needs may not be met by what seems to be "best" 
for the family.

Harmony Village, Golden CO

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