Re: How do we hold each other accountable?
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 06:34:45 -0700 (PDT)
I am really glad to have sparked such a wide conversation with this post!
But I have noticed a similar trajectory around this word "accountability" as
I have with the word "participation." And that is that the conversation
tends to focus around issues of work/physical labor - landscaping, cleaning,
maintenance, and maybe committee work. 

There are so many other realms in which we make agreements in our
communities. How we are expected to treat each other and how we act in
meetings (with respect, no name calling, etc.). What we can and cannot do in
common spaces (smoke, make modifications to structures, take our clothes
off, jump on the couch). How we help each other. 

When I reflect on my participation in my community, I worry less about
whether I make it to all the work days but whether I was patient enough with
Will's slowed speech after his stroke; have I been helpful enough with
JoEllen's brain-injured son; have I appropriately held confidentiality,
avoided malicious gossip; do I spend enough time with the kids; etc.

When I am really steamed at one of my neighbors, it isn't usually about
their work participation. I am really peeved if someone doesn't come to
meetings until the final discussion of an issue that they care about and
then tries to block it. Ditto if someone isn't following the carport rules
(your car must fit in the carport). I am the major enforcer of the
trampoline jumping rules. So many other places we could talk about
participation, responbility, accountability.

Is it just easier to focus on work because it's easier to quantify? Or is it
related to our culture's focus on work?
Eris Weaver, Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
eris [at]

fa cil' i tāt: to make easier

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