Re: consequences in community - redux
From: Gmail Lynn (ld61069gmail.com)
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 10:28:57 -0800 (PST)
This is a beautiful response to the topic! Thanks for sharing it.
Lynn

Sent from my iPhone

> On Nov 27, 2018, at 7:42 AM, Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
> cohousing.org> wrote:
> 
> While I’ve heard that communities struggle with consequences for HOA rules 
> infractions, maybe they are unnecessary if the cultural boundaries are 
> established early on. Back in 2005, Rob Sandelin wrote the following note 
> which I thought was on the money. Do you think communities are afraid to or 
> uncomfortable with facing personality differences and let those conflicts 
> fester? On a remedial basis, have you had to come up with consequences?
> 
> 
> 
>>> RE: consequences in community
>>> From: Rob Sandelin (floriferous [at] msn.com)
>>> Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 10:16:45 -0800 (PST)
>>> In my opinion, based on 14 years of experience living in community and 
>>> visiting many others is there is a tragic mistake made in too many 
>>> cohousing groups in terms of group work endeavors. The mistake is this, 
>>> equality vs. happiness. I think the ultimate goal of any group context 
>>> should be to maximize the happiness of its members. This where rules about 
>>> work time tend to crash.
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> I have a partner whose greatest happiness would be to spend 8 hours in the 
>>> community garden, weeding, tending plants, etc. She loves gardening and 
>>> would do it for hours and hours. If we were going to be equal about it, we 
>>> would need to have everybody do the same amount of hours, or cut back on 
>>> her hours. Neither course induces happiness.   
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> I have another neighbor who finds great joy in the presence and mentoring 
>>> of toddlers. She dotes on the them, and it is frankly wonderful for her and 
>>> the kids. She does not enjoy gardening at all. 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> Why is it OK to force her to garden in the name of equality? This makes no 
>>> sense to me. She often volunteers to be with toddlers while their parents 
>>> do various communty tasks, such as making community dinner. She loves this 
>>> way to contribute. Why does it matter how many hours she contributes? She 
>>> does what she loves, when she can. She is very happy living here.   
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> My first advice is to encourage people to find what makes them happy, and 
>>> then give them what they need to do that thing. If that means that one 
>>> person is doing 8 hours in the garden while another is doing 2 hours fixing 
>>> bikes, its OK. Find your happiness, and follow it. Then, clean the toilet 
>>> now and again not to fulfill some obligation, but because you want to give 
>>> service to your community, and if you do it, someone else can spend their 
>>> time following their bliss. 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> If there are important things that don't get done, bring that up to the 
>>> groups attention and see if they get done. If a regular and needful chore 
>>> does not get done, then hire it out. Forcing people to do things out of 
>>> some obligation, in my experience, builds resentment. In my community we 
>>> have random work parties, that average about once a quarter. During those 
>>> days we have lots of fun and we end the event with a party. At our last 
>>> work party I laughed more than I have in quite a bit, and a couple of 
>>> folks, who love to cook,  made the whole group a fabulous turkey dinner.   
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> My second advice is to measure yourself, not anybody else. If you are doing 
>>> more than you want to, cut back. If you are doing less than you want to, 
>>> find ways to do more. If your dad died, your sister has cancer and your dog 
>>> has rabies, don't guilt trip yourself. Life in community is a continuum, 
>>> measured over several years. If the world is setup at this time against 
>>> your participating as much as you like, it will eventually change and you 
>>> can do more later.  
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> You also can not possibly know what are all the life factors that determine 
>>> your neighbors presence or absence within the context of community work. To 
>>> judge them, invites others judging you should your life requirements change 
>>> your time needs. Accept people for where they are, not where you think they 
>>> should be and your relationships will be better.   My third and final bit 
>>> of advice, find a way to say I love you to your neighbors on a regular 
>>> basis. This is easily done as a small act of service and caring, such as a 
>>> ride to the airport, chicken soup for someone with a bad cold, making a 
>>> welcome home banner when they return from vacation. It can also be present 
>>> in a warm and genuine thank you. Before he died we had a neighbor who once 
>>> a week brought us wonderful homemade bread, simply his way to say he loved 
>>> us.  The more of this that happens, the happier and stronger your community 
>>> will be.   My personal choice is to live in a place where people are happy 
>>> and care about each other, and if the leaves don't get raked up right away, 
>>> well....I can live with that... Oh wait, Bruce is raking them up right 
>>> now....
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> I received an off-list note asking what an example of asset-based 
>> consequences might be. After thinking about it, how the 40 Development 
>> Assets as applied by the Search Institute could be something like this. If a 
>> neighbor has junk on the porch in violation of the HOA rules, rather than 
>> sending a letter that says, "clean up your porch or else ..." An asset-based 
>> approach would be as a part of community clean up day, one of the tasks is 
>> to spruce up porches and rather than singling the offender out, they are 
>> included. Maybe there is a reason why the porch is a mess, maybe no money, 
>> or nobody to help, in which case, other neighbors would pitch in and help. 
>> Rather than catching people doing something wrong, the idea is to catch 
>> people doing something good.
>> 
>> 
>> Thx,
>> 
>> Alan O.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> *******************************************
>> Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
>> EnviroCultural Organization Systems
>> http://www.alanohashi.com/ecos
>> Colorado 303-910-5782
>> Wyoming 307-274-1910
>> Nebraska 402-327-1652
>> *******************************************
>> 
>> 
>> From: Alan O'Hashi <adoecos [at] yahoo.com>
>> To: "cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org" <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> 
>> Sent: Monday, November 19, 2018 7:54 AM
>> Subject: consequences in community - redux
>> 
>> Greetings CoHousers - I did a quick search about consequences in community 
>> and there was quite a lively discussion back in 2005 - lots of war stories, 
>> most were interested in substance. At that time, there didn't seem to be 
>> much.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> After 11 years, we're going through our community declarations and 
>> agreements and are looking for some rules enforcement consequences. I think 
>> we figured out about how to deal with junk on porches, yelling and 
>> screaming, but not as firm about victimless nuisance violations, like 
>> unauthorized alterations to common property, or dogs off leash, or not 
>> participating.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> The draft includes consequences that aren't realistic such as kicking 
>> offenders out of the common house for a month, monetary fines, banishment 
>> from community meetings - although it could be argued that isn't really a 
>> punishment.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Over time, we have members who blatantly violate the agreements, like 
>> bringing their dog into the common house, skipping their KP duty, knowing 
>> that nothing will be done.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Since 2005, has your community come up with workable consequences such as 
>> those that are more asset-based than actually punitive?
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Thx,
>> 
>> 
>> Alan O.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> *******************************************
>> Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
>> EnviroCultural Organization Systems
>> http://www.alanohashi.com/ecos
>> Colorado 303-910-5782
>> Wyoming 307-274-1910
>> Nebraska 402-327-1652
>> *******************************************
>> 
>> 
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