politics of cohousing, and stuff
From: elke lerman (kweenzgmail.com)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 07:59:35 -0800 (PST)
Although I haven't lived in coho yet, I spent 20 years in intentional
communities, which (I'm hoping) are more intense than coho.  Problem
solving is the central issue in my mind.  Agreeing on how to solve
problems, and keeping those agreements, is very difficult.

 I have  a friend, Laird Schaub, who I think is excellent at helping
groups create a  process that works for them. He is very active in the
FIC.  I would recommend him to any group that is bogged down.  His
email is laird [at] ic.org.

  As to stuff in common space, I put my name on anything that I wanted
back - CDs, tools, tupperware, etc.  I know I have occaisionally
realized I had something that wasn't mine and I couldn't remember who
I borrowed it from...
  The other thing is to remember it's just stuff.  Everything I lend
out I hope will come back, but I don't bank on it.  Things that are
really precious to me I only lend to trusted friends.

   As to 'the tragedy of the commons', I have no solution for that.
Things that have worked somewhat include to write in indelible marker
"RETURN TO TOOL CRIB" or wherever it belongs.  Many lovely people are
disorganized and/or spacey.  Having that in front of their face
sometimes helps.  Also if there is crucial maintenance, again with the
"EMPTY AFTER EACH USE" or whatever.  Another approach is to have
pseudo-ownership.  One person takes responsiblity for an item.  She/he
maintains it, and everyone has to ask him/her to use it.

  It's an ongoing dilemma.  I'd love to hear other about approaches. -Elke

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