Re: When world(view)s collide
From: Andrea Schulz (schulzaCWS.CO.Santa-Clara.CA.US)
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 17:56:01 -0700 (MST)
Hi Howard,
Which group has the kids?  Or are families with kids equally divided between
the two groups?  My first guess is that group 1 has kids, and group 2
doesn't have kids.  If this assumption is accurate, then I might define the
issue as group 1 wanting to spend money/resources/space on their kids and
group 2 not wanting to spend money/space/resources on something that will
not directly benefit them.  In this case, maybe a compromise could be
reached if the group could offer to provide space, and the families who
would use the space could provide the money/resources to build the
structure.  That might be more equitable than asking the whole group to pay
for something that everyone will not be able to benefit from.
Andrea Schulz
----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard Landman" <howard [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: March 21, 2001 4:43 PM
Subject: [C-L]_When world(view)s collide

> I'm wondering if anyone out there has had experience reconciling radically
> different world views into a consensus.
> The specific problem we're facing now goes something like this:
> - We need to have someplace for our bigger kids (say 6-12 years old)
>   to play.  We already constructed a sandy play area, but it's mostly
>   being used by the toddlers, and there are issues with the older
>   kids being too rambunctious for the little ones.
> - We are located directly adjacent to a large city park with trees,
>   a large playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, a farm,
>   and river access.
> - We have 34 units on 4 acres, so there's not a lot of space to
>   spare.  (This contrasts with nearby Grayrock, which has 15
>   acres in addition to its main property.)
> There seem to be two main opinions about this (I may be distorting
> things slightly to simplify the presentation):
> (1) One group believes deeply that it is completely unsafe and
>     unacceptable for kids under 10 to be in the park without adult
>     supervision, even if they go there in groups of 2 or 3.  They are
>     concerned about "predatory types" doing something unspeakable to
>     their kids.  They are worried about the river.  Therefore, it is
>     "obvious" to them that we *must* build a play area specifically
>     for the bigger sub-teen kids, and that it must be in the central
>     part of our site so that parents can keep a constant eye on them.
> (2) The second group sees nothing wrong with kids that age going to
>     the park and back by themselves.  They reminisce about doing
>     much more dangerous things when they were kids, and just don't
>     see the problem.  The idea of building a playground on our
>     limited space when there's a perfectly good playground a couple
>     hundred feet away seems silly and redundant to them, a waste of
>     a very limited resource.  It is "obvious" to them that this is
>     a bad idea.
> Having started off in camp 2 and having made some effort to understand
> the camp 1 folks, I now am faced with the "Where do we go from here?"
> question.  I think I know the scope of the divergence of opinions, but
> I'm not sure how to work towards consensus.  The 1 folks are frustrated
> because they've brought up this "urgent" issue several times and gotten
> nowhere (but they failed to develop a consensus that there was in fact
> a problem that needed solving before trying to get specific solutions
> adopted).  The 2 folks are frustrated because the issue refuses to go
> away (but are not doing a good job so far of listening to the concerns).
> Any ideas?  I'm not interested in hearing that "group 1 is right" or
> "I agree with group 2".  I want some way to begin synthesizing both
> viewpoints into something we can all live with.
> Howard Landman
> River Rock Commons, Ft. Collins CO
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