Re: Commitments to community
From: alberta maged (
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 09:10:59 -0800 (PST)
That was such a generous and kind way of describing the greeters/swans. I bet 
you all have great pot-lucks.  I'm probably somewhere in between when it comes 
to physical work (and I don't play chess) ... I really appreciate your heart.

Thanks, Alberta
Non-co-housing Fruitvale

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 21, 2016, at 8:19 AM, Mary Baker, Solid Communications <mary [at] 
>> wrote:
> Apologies for coming late to the discussion. We have a really robust work 
> culture here, and it’s all entirely voluntary. I think that’s because the 
> appreciation is always flowing, verbalized and feted, and so work offerings 
> are considered part of our socializing.
> Having said that, we do have a few (very few) people who like to swan at the 
> work parties—they make a big show of attending and greeting everyone but if 
> you watch closely they always have someone to talk to, or a plant to deliver, 
> or have to get a bottle of water and so they dodge in and out and never 
> actually get anything done! Ditto for teams. Sometimes the most visible or 
> vocal individuals are not really accomplishing much outside of their own 
> interests, while our quiet heroes like our reclusive chessmaster, IT team, 
> maintenance team, are quietly getting stuff done every day!
> But you know what? That’s a society. Everyone is different. If you replace 
> the word ‘swan’ with ‘greeter’ then those individuals bring the sunshine and 
> smiles, and that’s an important contribution too.
> While respecting your concern, I think that imposing mandatory participation 
> in anything is not a good idea. 1) I believe it’s disrespectful—it says, in 
> effect, that your citizens are untrustworthy and need to be policed. 2) It 
> squashes individuality. 3) Someone has to constantly be the participation 
> police, and who really wants that job? And 4) I think if a community is 
> lacking in participation, the reasons are much deeper than you realize.
> Regards,
> Mary B.
> The Cohousing Life
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