Living In Cohousing
Our community expects all members, including all those in their households, to follow the principles of respect and responsibility listed below (adapted from Creating a Life Together by Diane Leaf Christian c. 2003, New Society Publishers, B.C. Canada).
SEVEN AREAS OF RESPECT
- Physical respect — respect personal boundaries and refrain from violence.
- Emotional respect — respect other people’s feelings and emotions.
- Verbal respect — be honest; listen to others and hear what they are saying to you.
- Territorial respect — respect everyone’s right to privacy, solitude and quiet. Negotiate the use of common spaces.
- Material respect — care for personal, communal and community property.
- Respect for diversity — respect diversity of age, gender, racial origins, sexual orientation, spiritual practices and beliefs (including none) and physical and mental capabilities.
- Respect for community — respect the community’s structure and decision-making process.
SEVEN AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
- Attend and participate in community meetings.
- Communicate your ideas and feelings.
- Contribute time and energy to community tasks.
- Serve on committees and teams.
- Fulfill financial obligations; seek early help with financial problems.
- Inform the community about guests staying for extended periods or changes in individual circumstances.
- Inform others about any violence and violations of these guidelines regarding respect and responsibility.
WHO DOES WELL IN OUR COMMUNITY SETTING?
- Someone who is basically fulfilled and doing well in their life but who would like to live in a close-knit community instead of increasing isolation as he or she grows older.
- Someone with a healthy sense of self.
- Someone open to and able to hear other points of view. (Someone used to being in charge and having their way is often frustrated in a community setting, until they become more comfortable with a group process.)
- Someone who feels a connection to people and is concerned about the wellbeing of others.
- Someone willing to abide by group agreements and processes.
- Someone willing to speak up and take initiative.
- Someone willing to be quiet and listen in order to give others their due opportunity to express opinions.
- Someone who is happy, positive and optimistic and who enjoys life.