The Hardest Decision We Ever Made
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2002 17:29:00 -0600 (MDT)
Joani Blank <joani [at]>
is the author of the message below. 
It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]> 
because the message included HTML ;      PLEASE do not post HTML, see

NOTE: Another alternative way of remaining anonymous (mentioned below)
and yet sharing your experience with other cohousing folks is to send
your message to me (with some instructions which I'd delete) and I can
forward it to cohousing-L.   Discussion on this topic is of course welcome
on cohousing-L    

Fred, cohousing-L list manager

--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Hello cohousing friends,

Virtually every cohousing group has to struggle with a really tough 
decision from time to time. I'm putting together an article for the 
upcoming issue of Cohousing  about some of those decisions. Here are some 
of the things I hope to learn from your stories:

1) what the issue was,
2) why the proponents of each position felt they were "right" or felt that 
the position they were supporting was best for the community,
3) what you (as one participant and observer) feel was really behind the 
various positions, and most importantly,
4) how did you work through your differences to a decision that everyone 
could consent to.

Finally, I'd like to know what you feel your group has learned from your 
experience which will make future decisions a little (or a lot) less difficult.

I'd like it if you would float brief responses here on cohousing-l which 
may encourage others to offer their own stories. If you prefer, you may 
write directly to me (joani [at] And if you would rather not 
details by email, please send me your phone number (or call me at 
510-834-7399) and I can interview you.  If you are the only or one of 
just  few people in your community who receives cohousing-l, and you think 
someone else in your community might be in a better position to respond to 
this query, please pass it along to him or her, and invite him/her to get 
in touch with me.

This is a good opportunity to help other groups as well as a chance to 
learn more about yourselves, and I thank in advance those who are able and 
willing to take the time to contribute to this effort.

Joani Blank
Swan's Market Cohousing
Oakland, CA

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