Guesting – how many is enough?

Some things here are nearly impossible.  It is, in my opinion, unworkable to significantly limit the number of people who visit here.  Part of this is because all of the hundred plus people who live in this community from time to time have friends, relatives or interested associates who want to come see what this place is like.  Control on when these guests can come is placed on their hosts.  Also there are, at any given time, some number of media representatives or student groups or even professional consultants who want to visit and understand us better.

“oh, look at that one!”

So here our contradictory mandates run afoul of each other.  On one hand we are supposed to be a model of how things might be better.  Our bylaws say that our purpose is:

Together our aim is to perpetuate and expand a society based on cooperation, sharing, and equality:  Which serves as one example of a cooperative social organization, relevant to the world at large, and promotes the formation and growth of similar communities:

At the same time, we want this place to be a home for the people who live here.  We would prefer they not feel like they live in a zoo, in which they are constantly being observed by outsiders.

There is a debate raging on our O&I board (our public discussion board) about if we should try to limit guests and how this might be done.  In a somewhat uncharacteristic manner, i am claiming we have not needed to do this for 45 years, so why change policies now.

And i understand i am more comfortable with people pointing fingers at me and whispering to their friends “that one looks like a real hippie.”