Re: How do we hold each other accountable?
From: Pastor Liz (
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 11:29:26 -0700 (PDT)
I too deal with the work issue personally be being careful that *I* am
doing the amount of work that I want to, and by choosing to not worry
about how much someone else is doing.

That reminds me, however, of the specific difficulty of discerning
whether a community problem has a "community" solution or an
"individual" solution.

For example, if Jo-ann said she'd fix a door, and Yoon-Lee is upset
that it is not done, I'd like to see Yoon-Lee call up Jo-ann and ask
when the door will be fixed. I'd like NOT to have a community
discussion about "if someone doesn't do what they said...".

At another extreme, if Carlos constantly volunteers to clean-up, and
hasn't shown up repeatedly, and each time someone called Carlos about
the clean-up, then I think eventually the meals team (or community
support?) needs to speak for the team and ask for different behavior.

To me, both of these are community responsibilities and community
"accountability", but one requires speaking for oneself, and the other
requires speaking for a team.
And, both require having some people that are willing to say hard
things to their neighbors. AND neither problem is really solved by
having a new policy.

On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 2:06 PM, Jeanne Goodman
<goodmanj [at]> wrote:
> > 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?
> I agree that many of the non-work issues have natural consequences. If you
> elect not to come to meetings you don't have as much say on the outcome. (We
> have a rule that as a proposal moves forward the opportunity to make changes
> or raise objections decreases.) If you don't lend onions you won't get
> butter. If you don't participate you may get forgotten.
> I do believe that it really does come down to fairness and each person's
> perception of fairness. I have recently reached a delicately balanced zen
> where I recognize that the people who are doing most of the work now will do
> most of the work no matter what system we use. If people aren't
> participating now it's not likely that holding them accountable will change
> who does most of the work.
> I try to be really reflective on my motivations in holding this philosophy
> and have concluded that I waste too much personal energy being annoyed at
> what someone else is not doing. I also trust that what goes around comes
> around so balance will be restored if I stop trying to control it. If there
> is more work than we have workers, I will try to reduce our tasks.
> In the meantime, I will invite people to work, I will be supportive if I
> notice work is not done well and I will make every effort to appreciate work
> when it is done.
> Am I being naive? Maybe. But allow me to basque in my naive bliss for a bit.
> I love my community -- from the hardest worker to the lazy so-n-so.
> Jeanne Goodman
> JP Cohousing
> Boston, MA
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(The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
Worcester Fellowship

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