Re: Social participation (was How do we hold each other accountable?)
From: Moz (
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 00:43:53 -0700 (PDT)
Sharon Villines said:
> On Jul 28, 2010, at 12:49 PM, Naomi Anderegg wrote:
this was actually me (moz):
>> I think that's mostly from fear, presumably of being forced to do
>> more work than they'd prefer. Which is a whole discussion of itself

> Interesting to me was that when we had this conversation before move-
> in, a number of people were seriously afraid of not being able or  
> competent to do whatever was needed. They felt very insecure about  
> being able to contribute.

We're having that a bit already,

> I remember one woman, who was very competent civil rights lawyer,  
> being very excited in a round on workshare saying, "I didn't think I  
> could do anything people needed but I can. I love to clean bathrooms."
> We all  looked at her with appreciation and relief since obvious to us
> we were dreading cleaning bathrooms. Then another woman stepped up to
> help. She was a clean bathroom fan, but also worked worked very  
> variable hours, sometimes a 48 hour shift and often at night. Doing  
> the bathrooms meant she could do them at midnight or 4:00 in the  
> morning.

> So you might go at it from a different direction -- make a list of  
> things that need to be done or ask people what they would like to do.
> I haven't asked everyone but I don't think we have anyone doing things
> they don't like to do. So many things need to be done that some things
> go undone, but what people do needs doing. Of course after move-in  
> every one changes personalities but at least they don't go into it  
> with discomfort.

>> That said, it seems to me that by
>> participating in co-housing a person is acknowledging a belief that  
>> communities
>> are built by people and relationships and that building a community  
>> requires a
>> time investment on community members' parts.

> Unfortunately this is not true. People tend to think it's just fine  
> not to participate or believe that by coming to a meeting every 6  
> months they are participating. A neighbor felt that it was a lot work
> to water the CH plants once a week.

> The reality also is that many people are totally overwhelmed by their
> own lives already. Adding any community expectations puts them over  
> the edge -- they go blank or anxious on you. They have moved into  
> cohousing because they think it will make their lives easier. It can  
> make them richer, but I'm not sure about easier. Certain things are  
> easier -- emergency or last minute childcare, borrowing cars, easy  
> social life outside your door (and inside it too), borrowing extra  
> tents and air mattresses -- stuff like that. But there are also added
> expectations that people just don't seem to factor in.

> Sharon.
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