Re: consequences (WAS resources on individualistic people...)
From: Don Benson (
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2012 10:01:07 -0700 (PDT)
There are two dominate tracks I consider

1.  engage in tough love - We are attempting in community to create and live by 
social contracts, the core of which is that we do not take significant 
individual initiative with each other or our commons without bringing the 
concern and options to the community first. 

2.  engage in soft love - We are all here, aspiring to live in community, 
caring for each other as individuals and the commons.  We will all stumble on 
this path, and it is the path we committed to so we understand and hope that we 
will do better in the future.  

The operative word is to engage, which is not common in our larger culture.  To 
the contrary I see diminishing constructive engagement (conflict avoidance) or 
violent engagement (also not constructive), and the transfer of engagement to 
lawyers with more per capita in the US than any other country in the world, and 
an increasing level of stress related health problems as we individually 
attempt to cope with failed social contracts (divorce, etc.).

Building the skill of working with an individual regarding behavior that is not 
consistent with our social agreements is a dimension on the the path to 
individual and community maturity.  Conversation about the incident can bring 
community values back to our awareness, provide an example of how these social 
contracts can translate to behavior.

Don Benson
Trillium Hollow, Portland OR

>> I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations on
>> books/websites/resources/ideas that has ideas on encouraging communal ways
>> in individuals who are more individualistic (that typical cohousers)? I
>> want to figure out what to do to help when someone in community has an
>> "act
>> now and beg forgiveness later" attitude and acts brazenly about doing
>> whatever they want (for instance, cutting down a tree on common land in an
>> area designated for trees, on something of a whim) and doesn't seem
>> cognizant of it (or only seems to realize the problem after the fact- and
>> with lots of excuses). (And, this person has lived here for 10+ years - is
>> there hope?) Any ideas or direction would be appreciated! Thank you.
>> Amy (Wasatch Commons, Salt Lake City)

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