Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My meeting minutes will launch my 4-year-old neighbour

Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run; Obama is running so our children can fly!

Those were the words of a 19-year old single mother, as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on November 2, 2008.

I learned of those words in an e-mail that my fellow coho, Susana, forwarded to us owners of Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community this morning.

They captured my imagination, and invigorated my efforts. Right at this moment, my "efforts" involve typing the minutes of some cohousing meetings.

I tell you, there are moments at which I envy the Swazi people amongst whom I grew up, because they didn't know how to read and write. At those times I view literacy as a double edged sword.

But of course writing is an enormously useful tool. It enables you and me to communicate, regardless of your location and regardless of the time at which you access this blog post.

In the context of cohousing, minutes of meetings enable us to gain traction and move forward. We are juggling a lot of balls. Minutes help us to recall our decisions and our commitments.

The quotation about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr and Barack Obama refers to the courage they exhibited in breaking through social, political and economic barriers.

Taking minutes of meetings does not require that kind of guts. Yet it's part of the slog that's needed to get a project off the ground.

When the housekeeping aspects of our cohousing development feel boring to me, all I need to do is to think of the four-year-old boy who will be my upstairs neighbour. I am helping to create the village that will wrap him in love.

It is my firm conviction that he will be able to soar to heights that would have been impossible had we not been here for him.

So, little guy, for your sake, it's back to those minutes.

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