The use of games, experiments, and
exercises has been known and practiced intuitively by effective teachers
throughout the ages. We are
not surprised when our children discover the value of playing learning games. Why should
it be otherwise for us? It isn’t. We learn best through games, activities, and
The Goodenough Community has always
intended to be both a caring, healing environment and a learning/training
laboratory. A core of leaders, most of them friends and colleagues for more than
15 years, have carefully developed a philosophy of community life, which is
expressed in personal agreements, organizational processes, and life-ways proven
effective over time.
An essential strategy of the community is to develop its
members well, and then to guide and support them in serving society.
Specifically, we engage each stage of our personal and collective development
with a suspension of disbelief or doubt about our own worth and ability—a
pretending to be nobler selves than we usually manifest, until our minds can
get around this and give the pretense our full attention. After enough
attending, we integrate our learning into our lives until they become
intending—a conscious willingness to be and to accomplish more.
level of selfhood is allowed to function, we encourage one another into
extending our awareness to allow our best selves into more and more of our
lives. Finally, contending with newly outgrown world views, we are able
to transcend our old ways, and the process begins anew. To increase our
awareness of the possibilities before us, we agree to suffer the vicissitudes in
order to enjoy the satisfactions of this life-long learning together.
We are primarily a learning
openness to experimenting with ways to approach our ideals, allowing failed
attempts to be lessons learned that improve the next experiment, rather than
excuses for giving up. We realize that we are ultimately engaged in the
infinite game of life. Success at this game requires us to play many
creative finite games in order to sustain the momentum and renew the
promise of the infinite game.
Our cultural processes serve us
Our members regularly meet as women, as men, as couples, a family of families,
as youth (Young and Restless, Turtle Clan), and as Third Age. All of these
cultural programs include a developmental focus that helps people accomplish their developmental tasks and age
gracefully. The overall goal of these cultural programs is to help people become
mature, sane, proactive, and creative.