I have been reading all the Communities magazines that come with your membership of Foundations for Intentional Communities. In volume 8, they discuss children and how they act like packs and have a society of children. So true. They also mention their early exploration of sexuality. I don’t know if that would fly today now that we know more than in the 1970s and 1980s.
In volume 2 they had some interesting advice. One was to include your children in the decision to move to a community. I wish I had done that. My kids were not happy moving even if I thought it was the best for them. In the end, all three of my children were right about their feelings on the community and the move and I was very wrong.
They discuss myths of community life like everyone does their own thing. That is impossible since things have to get done and someone or some group has to take leadership sometimes.
The other myth is that the community is a failure if someone wants to leave – we must not have done something right if someone wants to leave. But you can’t be everything to everyone at every time.
I would argue that yes, it’s not the communities fault, however, if a lot of people are leaving for reasons that don’t have to do with jobs, or family sickness or whatnot, then maybe the community should re-evaluate.
I have seen how communities can feel like a failure if they have conflict. Yet, conflict will happen. Has to happen. Once there is more than one person, there are more than one opinion or reaction so conflict is part of life. The problem is not dealing with conflict. Not having a safe place to deal with conflict. Not using Non-violent communication. Not being honest. Not being a community that honors everyone’s opinion, reaction, needs, and making compassionate compromises.