Re: Filtering members in a forming community
From: Racheli Gai (
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 07:33:37 -0800 (PST)
Hi Nathan,
I don't think you need to apologize for anything. You can ask away, and people can choose whether to respond or not... And I think the questions you asked
are good ones: Every group struggles with them.

I agree with Joani: If you come up with clear enough mission statement and a set of goal (ie: clarifies your values, and put them out there), this would
act as the filter you need.
A crystal ball would be very useful too :) - but I don't know where to get one.

I grew up in Israel on a kibbutz (and visited there later on when I didn't reside there any longer): I remember the kibbutz making great efforts to filter new members, by having them live in the kibbutz for quite a while before voting on whether to accept them as full members. Even that system proved really faulty. Sometimes it's easy to spot that "something is wrong" with a person, in a way which would interfere with good integration and functioning within
a community, but people are complex, and what might turn out in the long
run to be a huge problem isn't always evident until a group is way way down the road. It goes the other way too: People who are seemingly odd and don't
"fit" might prove wonderful given time and opportunity.
So, the short and the long of it is: Self selection based on clear principles
is probably as good as it gets.

BTW - for those who are interested: The latest issue of COMMUNITIES magazine
is about helping one's local economy thrive.  I recommend it!

Racheli (Sonora Cohousing, Tucson).

On Jan 27, 2007, at 12:32 AM, nathan schomber wrote:

  Do I need to apologize? After reading your post, I was struck with
the realization that something I wrote in one of my posts must have
offended you though I’m not sure what it was.(Our posts started as
“Forming group, advice?” then became “Group Forming need advice”)

I agree that Rob's post sounded harsh and a bit of a put down to a new
kid on the block. From reading Rob for a long time, I assure you it
wasn't personal.

What he said was absolutely true but it takes a few years to see that.
It's hard for some of us who have been reading this list for years (and
years) and have watched many, many groups come and go, to keep
responding to the same issues over and over. Sometimes we all get
short, and Rob's  been doing this much longer than I have.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
Where all roads lead to Casablanca
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