Community and Individual Maturity Re: 1. Re: resources on individualistic people becoming . . .
From: Wayne Tyson (
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2012 06:17:47 -0700 (PDT)

I appreciate Berman's ironic humor--one of the best tests for maturity--but 
since the "spoiled" attitude is linked to an individual's sense of worth more 
than external influence (especially in adults), there are limited ways that 
mature individuals can "stop the spoiling" other than by setting an example. 
This requires patience, another signpost of maturity--simply not responding to 
the spoiled brats at all. Spoiled brats want reaction to their selfish acts 
most of all, so ignoring such acts rather than reacting to them cuts off the 
blood supply to the cancer. 

A good (small) book on this subject is Dorothy Lee's Valuing the Self: What We 
Can Learn from Other Cultures, Waveland Press, 1976, ISBN 0-88133-229-1

Lee's Freedom and Culture (epilogue by Jeffrey Ehrenreich), Waveland Press, 
1987, ISBN 0-88133-303-4 is also worth reading, expanding upon her ideas a 
decade later. 

An interesting aside here is that, while it is by no means universally true (if 
it is true at all, but it seems this way intuitively to me) is that more women 
tend to be more mature (if one can be "more" mature rather that just mature or 
spoiled--a whole can of worms unto itself) than men, perhaps because men seem 
to have developed egocentrism to a "higher" degree than women. In either case, 
it seems to me that being "spoiled" is an increasing phenomenon. However, I 
must add that I do see signs of the pendulum swinging back in the direction of 
maturity on the part of a lot of young people. 

At the level of culture  itself being a group example of self-absorption), some 
examples of spoiled periods might include Elizabethan England, the Roaring 
Twenties, and the Postwar Period (WWII), not to mention the "Me" generation, 
etc. Cohousing itself seems to be a reaction to the extremes of highly spoiled 
periods, an intuitive yearning for social (cooperative) interaction rather than 
the prevalent "winner take all" attitude which isolates people, leading to an 
almost universal paranoia which is a primary precondition for choosing the 
"spoiled" option. 

[Why does the Gettysburg Address start playing over and over in my head?] 


PS: Anytime we stop growing we start shrinking. 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Monty Berman 
  To: cohousing list ; landrest [at] 
  Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 4:43 AM
  Subject: RE: 1. Re: resources on individualistic people becoming . . .

  Re: transforming spoiled brats of any age: it might help to stop the spoiling 
(a revolutionary idea, perhaps?) and can actually be fun to do, too---once you 
get beyond the wrench of such a drastic approach.
  Monty Berman
  EcoVillage at Ithaca, founding member
  Personal development counseling
  Relationship coach
  Every time we stand on our own two feet and don’t draw from the environment, 
we develop our own resources.  Fritz Perls, Gestalt Therapist


  > From: cohousing-l-request [at]
  > Subject: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 104, Issue 21
  > To: cohousing-l [at]
  > Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2012 03:16:14 -0700
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  > Today's Topics:
  > 1. Re: resources on individualistic people becoming
  > communityoriented? (Wayne Tyson)
  > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  > Message: 1
  > Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2012 19:32:54 -0700
  > From: "Wayne Tyson" <landrest [at]>
  > Subject: Re: [C-L]_ resources on individualistic people becoming
  > communityoriented?
  > To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
  > Message-ID: <008301cd9933$bc58cb10$7a666b44@wayneb2f97d881>
  > Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
  > reply-type=original
  > Honorable fellow humans:
  > Maturity and intellectual integrity are not governed by age--I have known 
  > mature 12-year-olds and infantile or adolescent-like people who were 
  > older. Age does tend to be associated with a certain sclerosis of mind, 
  > however, and I would rather live in a community of children than with 
  > so-called senior citizens who are self-centered, opinionated, and 
  > inflexible. The day I stop learning will be the day I become stupid.
  > It goes by several names, such as "character" and "grace."
  > If there is some formal method that can transform spoiled brats of any age 
  > into mature individuals, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, I haven't 
  > encountered one yet. But I will look into "NVC." Thanks for the heads-up.
  > WT
  > ----- Original Message ----- 
  > From: "Jerry Koch-Gonzalez" <jerry [at]>
  > To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
  > Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2012 6:55 PM
  > Subject: Re: [C-L]_ resources on individualistic people becoming 
  > communityoriented?
  > >
  > > what I'd wish for a community is empathic capacity so that without blame 
  > > we
  > > can explore the impacts of our behavior on each other.
  > > i have found nonviolent communication (NVC) is a useful tool and
  > > consciousness. restorative circles is an nvc application useful for 
  > > dealing
  > > with conflicts. we could use more of both of these in our community but
  > > what we do have has been useful in my opinion.
  > > jerry
  > > pioneer valley cohousing MA

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