Are You Kidding?

Whiteboard "Are You Kidding?" moment
Whiteboard "Are You Kidding?" moment
Example of cohousing neighbors collaborating at Nevada City Cohousing
Example of cohousing neighbors collaborating at Nevada City Cohousing
Shelly Parks
Shelly Parks

We are better together in cohousing…

It seems every day I experience a moment when I’m reminded of how cohousing offers us a way to live better lives, especially during these times when our world can seem so divisive.

A few months ago, my cohousing moment involved a white board. I call it the “Are you Kidding?” moment. Here’s what happened…

While waiting for our cohousing community (Skagit Cohousing) to be built, my husband and I live in a classic condo building. Like many condo buildings built in the 1970s, it is designed in a way that hinders interaction with our neighbors. In fact, we rarely see them.

On this May morning as I visited our mailbox, I was saddened by the message posted above on the message white board. It appears that someone had a simple request to help with watering some plants.
The response is as you can see in the photo, "Are you kidding?"

How terrible is this?

If you are reading this on the CoHoUS site, I know I’m speaking to the choir when I say this illustrates a profound contrast with how cohousers believe in knowing and helping their neighbors. Cohousers have made a (some would say radical) choice to live lives that prove we are better when we work together, and we certainly have more fun doing so.

As I said above, I’ve thought about this “Are you Kidding” moment countless times since first seeing in back in May. It spurs me on with renewed energy in helping forming cohousing communities recruit their members. None of us should live in a place where a simple request is met with such a response.

If you are thinking about or are in the midst of joining the cohousing world, I encourage you and cheer you on. Stay true to the dream of living in a place where we are better together. For those already in cohousing, thank you! You give us inspiration for living better lives and you are our inspiration. May we all live in a place where we can receive and offer help where needed. And may we all live in a place where we know our neighbors and they know us, and we don’t have to witness “Are You Kidding?” responses on white boards.

Shelly Parks is the Founder of CoVision Consulting. She shares her years of professional sales and marketing experience to help forming cohousing groups recruit their members. To learn more about Shelly, visit her website. Shelly will be offering an intensive at the September Cohousing Summit in Amherst. Register today!

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