Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 192, Issue 20
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2020 12:42:05 -0800 (PST)
> On Jan 22, 2020, at 1:12 PM, Dick Margulis <dick [at]> wrote:

> 1. Here is a list of shared values that we have all worked on and agreed to.
> 4. Here is a set of standards for how we communicate with one another.
> 5. We don't have to agree about everything so long as we act consistently 
> with our shared values and communicate according to those standards.
> 6. Inevitably, conflicts will arise despite our best efforts to abide by 
> these principles, and that is why we have a conflict resolution policy and 
> procedure.
> Am I missing anything?

These are things college educated middle class adults are familiar with have 
done or experienced in other situations. Others may not have.

Hillbilly Elegy is an excellent book I think to explain some of the 
differences. It’s a well written autobiography of a man who went from hillbilly 
to army to law school to law firm. He talks about what he learned at each step 
— what he had to learn in the army to prepare him for college, for example.

Military — I once told a story about a conversation at a cookout between Takoma 
Village members: An employee of the World Bank, an activist who was organizing 
protests against the World Bank, and an Army Reserve member who would be 
protecting the employees from the protesters. Across the way sat two more 
members: a high level officer in the army and a man who would only say “I’m in 
military intelligence assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” And that was all 
he would ever say the 4-5 years he lived here.

When I posted that story to the list, people sent messages off line asking how 
we could possibly live with these people.

The basic values and behavior of all these people worked fine, but we didn’t 
try to examine them particularly closely. And they were all college educated 
middle-class people. What if they hadn’t been?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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