Cohousing: Alleviating Fear
I was struck by Marilynne Robinson’s assertion in a recent issue of NY Times Magazine (10/5/14): “Fear has, in this moment, a respectability I’ve never seen in my life.” She was referring to what she thinks is a “default posture” of human beings: fear. This recalled for me a presentation at Shadowlake Village that included a slide on safety. I thought: how smart to address, our “default” concern of navigating a dangerous world. Fear may be the motivator for questions among those seeking cohousing: is it safe? can I feel secure? We are all looking to alleviate fears and live in a safe and secure environment. Fear chips away at confidence and happiness: fear of being attacked, fear of being alone when illness strikes, fear for children whom we can’t always protect. With a society obsessed with security, with gated housing developments, subway “don’t mess with me” stances, and insurance policies for every happenstance, it is no wonder we suffer from stress. Enter cohousing, which can indeed contribute to security and comfort, from exterior parking that keeps the interior safe from cars, to neighbors caring for each other, to preventive policies that reduce risk to our resources and health. If Coho/US had marketing resources, we might be tempted to take advantage: “scared to walk out your front door? join a cohousing community and live happily ever after….” Seriously, none of this is a surprise to cohousers enjoying a more secure and relaxed life. So let us continue to promote cohousing as “safe,” and “secure,” and part of the solution in seeking a better quality of life. Because it is.
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