|Working in neighbors within your community||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousemail.msn.com)|
|Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 12:20:48 -0700 (MST)|
I think one of the most important things cohousers can do, is to keep an open door for your neighbors to the wonderment of community. Yes, you are a set of private homes, and you YES, deserve some privacy. But as a cohousing group, you are also a grand experimental model, of what I strongly beleive is a better way to live. The more you can do to accomodate the folks around you, and willingly show off your good works, the more you are contributing to making the world a better place. It is hard sometimes to deal with visitors, but I encourage you NOT to become a closed enclave. There are way too many of those already, and there are some cohousing groups that have closed themselves off. This is a real shame and hurts the potential of cohousing. There is a balance point that can be acheived. Let one or more members handle the outreach as their community work. I lke the idea of letting neighbors get involved in committees and social events as it seems a win/win. Your group gets energy, the neighbors get a chance to be involved. I have seen some groups make this a criteria for community meal involvement for neighbors and others. Sign up and participate in the work, and you get the benefits of the work. I have also seen groups charge a small surcharge on outside eaters. Not a lot, just a bit extra. I have also seen cohousers go out into the larger neigborhood world and have some HUGE impacts, in schools, charities, and larger community growth. You bring with you a set of skills, the very cooperative and organizing skills you need to live in community, and as you apply those skills in the institutions around you, you make ripples that turn to waves that can wash over and redo our self-absorbed, me-first culture. I have seen some excellent expansion of cooperative endeavors come from neighbors of community who got inspired by the communitarian example. Also remember, you WILL have turnover, and you will need to someday sell some homes. Having neighbors that are excited about being involved gives you some potential buyers that you know. To those with the attitude, "we paid for this, bug off" I can only shake my head in sorrow and hope we can overcome this. Rob Sandelin Northwest Intentional Communities Association Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time
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