What People Want From Community
From: Tim Mensch (tim-coho-lbitgems.com)
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 20:35:58 -0700 (PDT)
Ann Zabaldo wrote:
I think we just get put off by the people we meet who
seem as if they don't want what we want in community.
The Dr. Seuss story, "I Had Trouble in getting to Solla Sollew," has a relevant moral: There are troubles everywhere, and moving to a new place doesn't really allow you to escape your troubles. Instead you simply find that there are new and different troubles.

What Ann says above, in reference to people living in normal communities, I think also applies to people in cohousing, but amplified since a lot of people end up disappointed when different expectations of "living in community" clash. Having lived in two cohousing communities and visited and talked to people from several others, I can say that, in my experience a lot of the conflict in cohousing stems from conflicting values--"people...who seem as if they don't want what we want in community." And I know that many communities work for lots of folks on this list, but I don't think a completely traditional cohousing structure works for me, psychologically. It's me, really. :) Which is why I've been pushing for a few differences in the community that I've been involved in (see link below).

At this point, though, I'm strongly leaning toward trying to create "virtual local communities" in larger existing neighborhoods. I feel like that's a more sustainable practice than building-from-scratch anyway--reduce, reuse, etc... On the other hand, you can take this with a grain of salt, because property values where I want to live (Boulder, CO) are ridiculously high. I noticed that Boulder stands out as the only US city mentioned on the Transition Town list--that surprises me, but I'm not complaining. :)

Tim Mensch

Currently at Wild Sage (Boulder, CO): http://www.wildsagecohousing.org

Founding member of Tumblerock, a Boulder, CO area community in its forming 
stages: http://tumblerock.org

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