Re: Work or Pay Systems
From: Joanie Connors (
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:31:30 -0700 (PDT)
Some comments on the sustainability issue for the work involved in cohousing -

1. It is natural to experience a lack of energy for tasks when the community is out of balance in power (lack of listening or respect), support (meeting needs) or change dynamics (stuck in a rut). The same is true in work settings and families - people don't want to work when they don't care and they don't care when they feel they don't matter.

As Rachel and others have said, when you feel good, you want to contribute. It feels invigorating to contribute when you are building something important together, and seems less like work.

2. I keep hearing this assumption that cohousing should cut your workload and make life easier. Where did that come from? Perhaps this is part of the US individualist mindset (everything is here to meet my needs), or a response to the insane level of busy-ness of our lives.

If individualism is the problem, then perhaps we need to value our communities and their structures more. Think of the dearth of parental involvement in schools and voter apathy. A matter of priorities.

I think it's important that children and teens contribute too, so they can learn these values.

If busy-ness is the problem, then it's time to sit down and look at what you can afford to cut out. I've found, like Rob, that cutting my load doesn't seem to stop the world from turning. Many things get done without my involvement (or wait till I have time), and I've become more balanced between the work I do for my own needs and for community needs.

Of course the points about keeping the community workload moderate and hiring out onerous tasks are extremely helpful.

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