In cohousing communities most people have their dinners in the Common House. In many communities people only cook once or twice a month. Let's say there are thirty families. That means each family cooks for everyone once a month. That leaves the women free from dinners for the rest of the month! And no dishes to do. Imagine how stressful it is for women to have to put dinner on the table their whole life. And the one night a month she does it, many families do it together or two families do it together. It is fun. McDonalds always has breakfast, lunch and dinner. If families lived in communities it would be like a hospital that always runs. No one can guarantee they will not get sick or even live to old age. Community is God's insurance. No one can be there physically and emotionally at all times. We need friends. Hospitals can run around the clock because there are many people committed to be there. Our homes should operate as well as a hospital or McDonalds. In fact they should be even better because of the love of everyone. To manage a home alone is simply too much for one couple to do. Especially if there is a war and men must go to fight. Community gives us security. This world will go into Completion Stage when it gives up individualism for community living based on the cohousing example. An added benefit of living in such communities is that people are much less inclined to leave. It stops the incessant mobility that has ripped apart families. It would encourage extended families living together and having businesses and investments locally. This would increase the power of grandfather patriarchs and love of elders. The Bible says a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children. Living this way would create empires where descendants would be born with all the financial wealth and love and support he or she would ever need.
In Cohousing developments cars are parked in one place. There is walk ways and play areas between the houses and large spaces of land for gardens and for kids and dogs to run. It is a perfect blend of privacy and community. The early communities in Denmark stressed private areas over public, but experience showed that people enjoyed getting together so much that later communities emphasized public areas. Satan has made America individualistic. The American Dream of a single family dwelling has become a nightmare for many people. Criminals usually do not attack groups. There is strength in numbers. The stress for one woman to always put a meal on the dinner table everyday for 50 years is too much. Men trying to figure everything out alone drives them to drink and TV. In CoHousing the authors write: "Developed by the residents themselves, cohousing combines the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared facilities and community living." In another book on communities, Builders of the Dawn, the authors spend a few pages on many communities in America. Some are totally socialistic. No private property. It works for some. The most successful though are capitalistic cooperative ventures. The ideal world will be everyone owning their own property and sharing common areas. It's like an advanced form of condominiums. Legally everyone owns and could sell his property but there are group legalities to honor.
The advantages of living this way are enormous. A man's role is to protect his family and in these communities there are many kids who play together and women sharing babysitting and all the kids are watched constantly. They are safe. The book CoHousing explains some of the exciting things people have done. Some have pooled their resources and done things together they could never do alone. In writing on a community called Trudeslund they say: "Twenty-nine of the households have also pooled their resources to buy a 17-room vacation house in Sweden." Some families share a car, some got together and bought a sailboat. "There is only one lawn mower. Items needed only occasionally, such as tools, typewriters, and camping equipment, can generally be borrowed or shared, instead of each family owning one of everything. (we could share in buying father's boats). This sharing of resources gives all residents access to a wider variety of conveniences at a lower cost per family than is possible in traditional single-family houses." There are so many advantages to having a community of friends. They write, "With nearly fifty children living in Trudeslund, there is no lack of playmates. The pedestrian-oriented site gives them lots of room to run without worrying about cars. The community serves as a large, extended family -- children have many people besides their parents to look after them, to whom they can turn for assistance, or just to talk to. It becomes second nature for the older kids to keep an eye on the smaller ones, and the adults know every child by name."
They write, "Also located in the common house are a workshop, a darkroom for photography, a television room, a walk-in freezer used by the community store and individual families, a guest room, and a music room where teenagers can jam' on drums and
electric guitars without bothering anyone. A recent addition is the computer." Wouldn't this building be perfect for school? Instead of home schooling -- we'd have community schooling. The creative arrangements between people are endless. There is a magazine called Communities and it has ads for Cohousing projects. One was in Bainbridge Is., Washington called Winslow Cohousing. They say they will send an information pack for $3. (353 Wallace Way N.E. Bainbridge Is., WA 98110 206-780-1323)
In their ad they say, "We are a pedestrian village within walking distance of the Seattle ferry, schools, stores and library. We are looking for a few more members who value privacy of their own fully equipped homes, and enjoy living in a cooperative community. We share a 5,000 sq. ft. Common House with dinners five times a week, cooperative childcare, recreation facilities, playground, orchard, woods, and garden, as well as a variety of skills, fun and friendships." What if we did this? There are a number of these communities in America and more are being built. We have attended meetings of a group trying to start one in our town but we only want to live with others who believe in True Parents and share our values of men providing and women staying home. Another community I read about was one in New York. Write to EcoVillage at Ithaca, Anabel Taylor Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; (607) 255-8276. There is a newsletter and resources about cohousing from The CoHousing Network, PO Box 2584, 1259 Addison Street, #113, Berkeley CA 94702, (510) 526-6124. They have lists of groups nationwide, legal documents, slides and a video of clips assembled from national and local news programs. The video is 20 minutes long and does a good job of giving a visual idea of what these communities are like. People living in them are interviewed. It makes you want to live there just as you want to live with members when you hear the Principle.
What is Cohousing? One article explains it this way: "If you havent yet heard of 'cohousing,' you soon will. The media is starting to pick up on this cultural development as it grows exponentially."
Cohousing satisfies the need for "both the desire for privacy and the yearning for a greater sense of community. You own your own home in a cohousing development, but residents participate in a number of communal activities, such as a weekly dinner. Parking is restricted beyond a specific perimeter, so children may safely play. Oftentimes, families live next door to retired folks, so acquiring babysitting services is easy."
"In a way, cohousing is a recreation of European-style village life. In fact, it originated on the continent, in Denmark. It came across the Atlantic in 1988. Since then, 28 cohousing projects have been built. One hundred and fifty are on the way, so its clear that many people are attracted to that way of life."
"People own their own homes, and earn their own incomes. There arent group dwellings and there isnt income redistribution."
"Those are fairly significant differences from the hippie communes formed in the 1960s. Cohousing seems to be providing the way of life the counterculture yearned for, but with a twistit uses the tools of capitalism."
At the website www.cohousing.com a cohousing community has a website. They are the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community in Amherst, Massachusettes. They write, "What is Cohousing -- Cohousing is a Danish concept that came to the United States in the late 1980s and is quickly gaining momentum across the country. Members own individual homes and maintain their privacy and autonomy while sharing meals, activities, facilities and, most important, a community spirit."
"Homes are clustered on about six acres of the site and oriented around a pedestrian walkway. Standard designs were developed, but all units were customized, to some extent. There are eight detached homes, nine duplexes, and two triplexes. The 4500-square-foot common house includes a kitchen, dining room, living room, sitting room, library, children's room, and two guest rooms. There is also a large, unfinished basement with a laundry room, a food pantry, and some storage space, as well as an area geared for older children. Four member households financed a home office building across the green from the common house. A 1600-square-foot annex, with space for crafts, woodworking, and equipment storage space, was built by and for members of the community."