Too much privacy can be dangerous

It is a hard line.  What to tell the whole group and what to keep private?

When groups are forming and building their cohousing neighborhoods, they are open books. They ask others how they did it and what agreements they had. Then, once they start living there, they are suddenly quite quiet to outsiders.

And to each other?  It’s a hard call. Supposedly someone in my neighborhood was doing something illegal and someone else saw it and talked to them about it. I have no idea what it is and I”m curious.  Unfortunately, the person who told this story didn’t have the same sense of danger and knowledge as I do. If it’s something like taking drugs and hurting themselves, big deal. But if it hurts others. Like an adult doing something people feel creepy about with kids. As a parent, I’d want to know to protect my children. If I wasn’t a parent, I’d still want to know to protect the kids I love in the neighborhood.

It reminds me of a tragedy. A couple and their two young children were driving in California when a sudden snow storm stranded them. They were lost and way off track. They couldn’t use their phone.  They were getting colder and colder as days continued on.  People worried that they didn’t arrive at their destination.  

One man worked for the cellphone company. He saw where their phone had pinged. Due to privacy concerns, that information was not shared with authorities. By the time the family was finally found, the baby had frostbite and the father had died of hypothermia.

I’d rather err on knowledge is power than strict privacy policies.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
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