Re: consequences in community - redux
From: Kathryn McCamant (kmccamantcohousing-solutions.com)
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 12:20:36 -0800 (PST)
Rob does say it well (below) and it takes communities a while to learn this 
lesson. Over time we realize we are all so imperfect, and each has our own 
"being the jerk" moments.  Also, I think we don't really know who is doing what 
and how much people are doing. Someone might be cleaning up the common house at 
odd hours of the day or nite that most people never see.  

I have moved more and more to the goal of trying to create a culture of "how 
can I serve my community" without resentment or guilt, and let each person try 
to find that spot for themselves. Some years I can do more, other times I need 
to step back and focus on family or other things. Overall, I just hope in the 
long run I give more than I take. Like my father use to say about marriage, 
each side needs to feel like they are giving 150% for the relationship to be 
healthy. 

Katie 
Nevada City Cohousing, and previously Doyle Street Cohousing. 
-- 
Kathryn McCamant, President
CoHousing Solutions
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755
www.cohousing-solutions.com
 
    
    > 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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