Re: Anecdotes for Diana Christians new book
From: David Heimann (
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 19:50:14 -0700 (PDT)


Interesting thought, especially considering what came up at work today. One of the secretaries, who somehow hadn't realized what kind of place I live in, was asking me about the community. At one point she asked "how diverse a group is it?" I mentioned to her that we had quite a diversity; some well off economically and some not, some white, some black, and some Latino, some straight and some gay, some single, some married-no-children, some families, etc. The conversation proceeded routinely after that.

What was interesting is what went on in my own mind that I never said to my secretary. When she asked how diverse a group it is, the immediate answer that popped into my head was "not at all!". I was about to answer that when I realized that wasn't what I wanted to say at all, so I paused, mentally backtracked, and gave her the answer above.

However, I fully well realized that my original answer is in fact true, we're not diverse at all in terms of fundamental values. Here we all value the community at least as much as the individual, are not very much into power-seeking, tend to seek accomodation rather than conflict, have a knack for disagreeing without being (totally!) disagreeable, etc. Furthermore, if there's a Republican in our community, they're not being very obvious about it. Ditto with those focused on muscle cars and NASCAR, beer and pretzels out with the guys, beauty pagents, etc.

What it comes down to is that we are very diverse on the outside but very homogeneous on the inside, our fundamental values. I take it that this is true for couples in successful marriages, so it sounds right that for a community that is in effect married to each other, such as ours or most cohousing communities, this is extremely important as well.

So, which diversity are we talking about? Probably I should have told my secretary, "No, we're not diverse at all!"

David Heimann
JP Cohousing

Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 19:29:58 -0700
From: "Eris Weaver" <erisw [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Anecdotes for Diana Christians new book
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID: <000001c68523$487c67e0$e85a8e40 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"


Personally I think "diversity" is over-rated. (Oh no, here come the
flame-throwers!) What do I mean by that? Many, if not most of us, want
to live with people who have shared values. Obviously we can't ALL share
EVERY value EXACTLY the same way, but if things get TOO divergent the
community doesn't work. In my experience and observation, when someone
in our community says they "want more diversity" in the group it doesn't
mean they want Republicans, white supremecists, homophobes (none of
these groups are represented in our community) usually seems to
mean they feel guilty that we are mostly white.

Cotati, CA

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