Re: Diversity and affordability
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 16:03:01 -0600 (MDT)
> Craig Mosher in Berkeley   CraigMosher1 [at]
> is the author of the message below.

> I'm also interested in other methods of allowing people of differing
> financial means, and differing amounts of time available for community work,
> to contribute according to their ability; recognizing some of the
> difficulties in defining ability that were raised so well.

One of the things that most surprised me was that some people had not
contributed or volunteered because they felt there was nothing they could do
well. Some people were extremely anxious about being able to a good job, or
do it as well as they think everyone else does their jobs.

This is particularly true if you have people in the group who are highly
efficient and have high energy levels. They set a standard that is too high
for some people to meet so they duck out.

Talking to people personally about jobs that need to be done that "you"
think they would be good at can be the key to getting them involved.

I'm just on my way to set up pizza night and I can tell you I would never
have asked our oldest member, 81?, to do clean up every Friday but he was
delighted when asked and is doing a great job. I asked the retiring person
how she thought of him and she said, "He was the first person I saw."

He was out sweeping the sidewalks which is another job he enjoys and does
well that we love having him do.

There are so many jobs that are so helpful and require only a minimum of
attentiveness. Would that we could find a person to sit in the common house
watching television and sign for packages!

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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