Most people are attracted to intentional communities because they want to live with like minded people. They want shared values. I think that’s possible – with work – make a vision and be specific about your values. However, in cohousing, anyone can buy a house. You can’t enforce a certain set of values and can only try to get certain behaviors. Fair housing laws won’t allow for control on who buys into, or rents, the community.
My question is what if everyone is crazy? Or enough of them? Or the whole place starts warping into crazy values?
I assumed everyone had my shared values. I was very wrong when they started twisting up excuses for some dangerous behaviors. I assumed everyone had worked on some of their baggage or would be willing to. I found out I was very wrong when they started accusing me of acting due to my past (a past I never shared with anyone neither positive nor negative). Instead it looks like they were reacting on unprocessed parts of their own pasts. I also assumed most people were rational but one person in particular acts erratic for whatever reason.
I don’t want to sound cruel to mental health issues. I believe every community should welcome everyone. However, there can be a lot of pain and blame and problems if the group can’t handle one or more person and let them be in the lead to lash out at others. That was my experience. I just hope before others join a community they won’t be as naive as I am. Get to know your neighbors first. Choose wisely!