Re: Don't discuss this in committees
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 11:05:01 -0700 (MST)
On 11/21/02 11:54 AM, "Becky Schaller" <bschaller [at]> wrote:

> Some people felt that the community needed to respect this persons request.
> They were already going through such a very difficult time and community
> discussion would only add to their distress.  Others felt like this was a
> community issue and we needed to discuss it and deal with it as well as we
> could.  This was an issue which was dividing the community into different
> camps and needed to be dealt with.

It isn't clear from your description which issue is dividing the community
-- the issue that was upsetting one household or the issue of how to deal
with the issue upsetting one household.

We have had more than one instance where one household had a personal crisis
that they were not ready to talk about. The way this was dealt with was one
person was asked by the household to be the designated link and
communicator. That way someone close to the household had all the
information including what the household wanted shared and how they wanted
it shared and could assure the rest of the community that things were going
as well as could be expected. People could also approach this person with
offers of help and that person could make arrangements with the household or
tell the person offering the service that it wasn't necessary.

This has worked very well for all concerned. The household had their privacy
and the rest of the community felt that they were doing all they could and
would be informed if anything else was needed. Explaining a difficult
situation to 43 other households can be very difficult.

We have also had very good experiences with parents sharing information
about their children and how they wanted them treated on the private list
for members. Things like what to say and not say to my child about my
illness, how to cope with my child's difficult behavior, etc. A tremendous

Transparency is so important in building trust and comfort. Share

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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