Re: How do we hold each other accountable? (Jeanne Goodman)
From: R.N. Johnson (
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 13:23:24 -0700 (PDT)
I count myself lucky in having been warned by experienced cohousers that a) 
worrying too much about "fairness" was likely to give me a headache and change 
little or nothing, and b) over time, we all have periods of greater or lesser 
community contribution and it more or less all works out. I have had the 
opportunity to stop home on my way from one office to the other one or two days 
a week the last several months and I have discovered that several people I 
thought might be "slackers" do yard work in the middle of the day when most of 
us are not available to witness it, another organizes wonderful and complex 
group activities that would never happen otherwise. Another person who has 
occasionally forgotten their turn as co-cook is often willing to switch or jump 
in if someone is ill.  I did a lot of work to get this community going, but 
have slowed down a lot due to family responsibilities.  I think it is Rob 
Sandelin who suggests that if you are feeling
 overworked and resentful- step back- re-evaluate what really needs to get 
done.  Often, someone else steps in when one of the "overacheivers"  steps back 
and things continue to get done ( although probably not exactly the way you 
would do them).  Do we all contribute equally- heck no.  Does everyone 
contribute- Definitely.
Appreciate people for what they do, and they will often do a little more.I find 
friendly reminders, and specific requests to be helpful, because people are 
busy and have many other things on their mind in addition to remembering to mop 
the common house kitchen and sweep the walks.  Requests and reminders with an 
edge often backfire. You don't want to set up a nagging parent/defiant child 
dynamic- it doesn't work well with kids and it certainly doesn't work that well 
with adults.
Randa Johnson
New Brighton Cohousing
Currently very grateful for all the support our cohousing neighbors have given 
to our family as we welcome a new little one


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