Re: Use of email
From: Don Benson (
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 10:09:08 -0800 (PST)
In your professional practice, your value is a function of the developed 
relationships you have with many providers.  You know this and work you and the 
other do to develop and maintain the FTF relationships that are the foundation 
for interdependence and success, and facilitate the resolution of issues that 

In a cohousing community, few members, if any, have ever had the need or 
opportunity to develop the relationships that you have.  In fact the internet 
provides the opportunity to avoid the development of FTF relationships and all 
the personal growth that we aspire to, without any immediate or potential 
financial reward. 

The community establishing/naming the value and devoting the energy needed to 
develop positive engagement vs. conflict resolution, the socialization process 
for potential new members that names these expectations, the pervasiveness of 
random and ritual practice of community building activities to provide FTF time 
to discover ways in which individually we can experience interdependence slowly 
builds the skills (for those that truly want to learn) that a successful 
practice requires. 

Over time we (some) can grow to the point of walking 10 feet to talk with a 
neighbor rather than send a poorly worded email.  Over time we (some) will 
learn to notice when our emails have been misunderstood and reach out to 
resolve the resulting emotion.  Some will provide the example for others.  And 
some will not learn, will not notice, and the reality is that they are not 
ready for cohousing, and yet will not leave.

Don Benson
Trillium Hollow
503.296.7249 office
510.701.9784 mobile

Ubuntu - I am because we are.

On Feb 10, 2014, at 3:50 PM, Philip Dowds <rphilipdowds [at]> wrote:

> So here’s my question:  Why is the Internet regarded as such a high-risk, 
> error-prone, annoying and alienating vehicle for cohousing communities?  Why 
> are e-mails seen as the problem, and meetings as the solution?  More 
> generally:  Why is our professional experience irrelevant for doing business 
> in a residential setting?

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