Re: multiple communities (was: Re:: Diversity of Cohousing)
From: Howard Landman (
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 14:36:04 -0600 (MDT)
> Who exactly are you arguing with?

I wasn't arguing with anyone.  I was agreeing with Sharon.

> Did any of us say that one should work so much in cohousing
> as to exclude participation in other communities?

No, but I can remember weeks early in the forming of RRC when I had
over 12 hours of "required" community activities.

> Notice that I said below: ...Why are people who don't
> want to give ANY of their time to the community..."

Well, how much is enough?  5 minutes a year?  There is NO one in cohousing
who gives zero time to it.  Perhaps it's you who have set up the straw

The real question is, How much does living in cohousing require of one
in terms of time?  What is "enough"?

> So, please do me the courtesy of arguing with what I'm actually saying,
> not with some alleged arguments which it's convenient for you to assign to
> me.

Well, I didn't.  Maybe Sharon did.

> It's still
> the case that I don't get why people for whom cohousing is very low on
> their list of priorities in terms of what they want to spend time and
> effort on are there in the first place.

Yes, I know that you don't get it.

Perhaps you are assuming that everyone interested in cohousing is just
like you and is interested in it for the same reasons that you are.  Of
course, you also know that this isn't true.

Here's a thought: Perhaps some people believe that living in community
can actually be *more* *efficient* than living in single-family houses.
That it can take less wasted effort.  That some tasks can be shared and
therefore become easier.

Such a person would have the expectation that, after perhaps an initially
difficult period getting settled in, cohousing would provide them with
support and friends and a happier life with *less* total work than they
were exerting before, leaving *more* time for other communities and

There are other people - allow me the indulgence for the moment of
unfairly branding them "interaction junkies" - for whom the highest
value in life is interacting with other people.  Constantly.  As much
as possible.

For such a person, a 4 hour community meeting may be a wonderful thing
that they'd like to do every week.

For our efficiency-lover, a 4 hour community meeting may seem about 3/4
wasted effort and pointless, something to be avoided in favor of smaller
committee meetings and 1-on-1 discussions.

I think there's room in cohousing for both types - (there'd better be,
because we've got both here!) - but they can drive each other batty
because of the fundamentally different assumptions about what's "good".

> And while a community can support
> a certain number of relatively uninvolved people, I think that if they
> make more than a *very small* portion of the adult population of the
> community, their presence is detrimental to the group's well being.   

To me that sounds like it's coming from an interaction junkie.  :-)
Yes, there really can be people who are so uninvolved that it is
detrimental.  But most of the complaints I hear are about "people
who aren't as involved as *I* am and don't want to spend many many
hours a week on community activities".  Everyone seems to assume
that their own personal standards should apply to everyone else.

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.