Re: Re: business
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 06:45:21 -0600 (MDT)
> >The goal of a cohousing organization is providing a community for
> >Getting things accomplished is incidental.
> I suspect that on Rob's model of the bird with two wings -- TASK and
> PROCESS-- the writer is on the process side. But "getting things
> accomplished" often is another way of supporting the development and
> maintenance of community. As Rob points out, too much flapping from
> either wing and the bird goes in circles! Seems true to me.
> Lynn at RoseWind

No, on the occasions when it's me that's guilty of the hysterical outburst,
it's triggered by people taking the attitude that it doesn't matter if the
job didn't get done, or was done badly, as long as everyone at the work
party had a good time.

Process is like a stencil or a cake recipe.  Some people can do beautiful
lettering freehand, or create a cake out of whatever they happen to have in
the cupboard.  Most people, though, are going to get better results with a
little guidance.

Maybe incidental wasn't the best word.  Subsidiary?  Things have to be done
that don't themselves contribute to the goal (forming community), but if not
done, they set the goal back -- for instance, forfeiture of the property for
failure to pay taxes.  However, paying taxes is not itself the goal.

Some cohousing groups have decided that providing low-income housing, while
a worthy goal itself, was not part of their mission.  Wasatch Commons
decided low-income housing was a necessary part of its community formation.

Remembering the goal is something I myself struggle with.  Getting rid of
the russian thistles is not the goal, holding meals four nights a week is
not the goal, recycling is not the goal.  Liking everybody is not the goal.
Does disposing of thistles support community formation?  Would having just
one meal a week damage community formation?  Would it sacrifice too many
principles to live in a community without recycling?  Can "community"
stretch to include accepting people you have differences with?

Wasatch Commons
Salt Lake City, Utah
argyle [at]

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