Re: do you really value diversity?
From: Tom Smyth (
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:37:46 -0800 (PST)
But isn't this just kind of relativism when taken to its extreme? Can't
some ideas be just *wrong, *and on the wrong side of history?

Did abolitionists have an obligation to sit with, listen to, and really
understand the ideas of slaveholders? I'm kind of glad they didn't.

I guess it depends on the "idea" being talked about.

On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:59 AM, Chris Poch <chris [at]> wrote:

> I think Eris hits on an important point that I have wanted to write
> something about given the events of the past week, but she has said it
> better than I could.
> Many of the problems cohousing addresses are problems common to all people,
> so the concept should translate across the political spectrum. If we can't
> tell the cohousing story in a way that is appealing to most types of
> people, we have failed to make our audience as broad as it could be and
> miss out on making cohousing into something bigger than it currently is.
> There are many aspects of cohousing that explained correctly should be
> equally exciting to the most liberal and the most conservative members of
> our society. Maybe different things about cohousing excite different
> people, but that's already true - people choose cohousing for different
> reasons. Maybe we won't all live in the same community, but even if one
> particular community leans right or left, there should be room for other
> communities leaning in the other direction.
> Remember that any time someone tries to divide people with a wedge issue or
> a black and white label, they're doing it for their benefit, not yours. The
> reality is that we have more in common than we frequently realize and most
> issues aren't black or white. The more we know people who are different
> from us, whether it's politically, racially, or economically, the more we
> can appreciate the unique challenges and perspective that they have. The
> whole decision making process behind cohousing is about giving everyone in
> the community a voice. Yes, it might be harder to come to consensus about
> some things the more diverse our community is, but many of the big labels
> don't even accurately describe the things that are most contentious on the
> hyper local level of cohousing - things like pet policies or paint colors.
> The most rewarding communities I've ever been part of had real diversity -
> and they challenged me to think bigger, question my ideas, and understand
> where the other side is coming from, even if you continue to disagree. Many
> people's views are also more nuanced than we realize. We have too many echo
> chambers already - what good does shouting into one accomplish? I'd rather
> be stretched and challenged by a diversity of ideas!
> I challenge us all to value diversity more in all of its different forms!
> On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:04 AM Eris Weaver <eris [at]> wrote:
> >
> > In my seventeen years of cohousing - as a resident, facilitator,
> > trainer,
> > and consultant - one of the paradoxes I see over and over in CohoLand is
> > the
> > tension between desiring diversity yet wanting to live with like-minded
> > folks. We kinda can't have it both ways...if you claim to value
> > diversity, you need to include political and ideological diversity as
> > well. (While cohousers do seem to skew
> > left politically, I am quite sure there are not only some Republicans
> > but
> > possibly Trump supporters among us.)
> >
> > I am very aware of how frequently someone will say something along the
> > lines of "I think we all agree that..."  and all I can think of is that
> > if there IS
> > someone in the room who does NOT share that belief, the message they
> > receive
> > is "you don't belong here" and someone less assertive than I might just
> > keep
> > their mouth shut and NOT share their diverse point of view. I try to
> > eliminate that sort of phrase from my speech, ESPECIALLY when I am up in
> > the
> > front of the room with the resulting extra power & influence that gives
> > me.
> >
> > I guess I'm asking for all of us to just be aware that not everyone in
> > cohousing thinks the same...
> >
> > ********************************
> > Eris Weaver
> > Founding member, FrogSong Cohousing in Cotati, CA
> > Graphic Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> >
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Tom Smyth

Worker-Owner, Sassafras Tech Collective
Specializing in innovative, usable tech for social change *·* @sassafrastech

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