Community Building—We Need New Thoughts

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the Central and Southern North America Pre-World Conference, April 2017

The idea of building the RC Community has been around since the early 1970s. My father’s [Harvey Jackins’] instructions for building it were to teach fundamentals, teach more fundamentals, teach more fundamentals.

Well, nobody is going to get into RC unless they have a chance to learn something about it. My father’s approach was fine. It worked to a certain extent. But it might be a little fixed and limited. There may be other alternatives. In particular, as we try to broaden our Communities and reach a wider cross section of us, just doing the same thing may not be the best way.

Once Communities are established, bringing people into them can be close to requiring those people to assimilate into the existing Community—to behave carefully, to try to act like us. They often have to give up some piece of themselves and be enough like us for us to make things work.

Any time there is any pressure for someone to assimilate, we know something is not right. No one should have to give up part of herself or himself to gain RC tools or to join with others in learning about and using them.

We’re scared about our differences. But we can discharge our fears and figure out how to go forward together in spite of the differences. They don’t have to derail us. We have common interests—all of us. Things can be worked out as we go. We don’t need to wait. 

Coming quickly into our Communities may not make sense for everybody we want to teach RC to. It’s asking them to come into a restimulating situation before they know what restimulation is or how to discharge. It seems a little odd to require someone to go through that. It takes a certain toughness to survive it.

It can sometimes work, if a new person has a good enough relationship with a strong Co-Counselor. She or he needs an anchor, because a lot of tidal forces will be swinging her or him around in restimulation. 

Our Communities are not going to be free of all restimulation. That isn’t going to happen. We are all going to be restimulating and restimulated to some extent, because we were all hurt. But we’ve committed ourselves to working on the distresses and the patterned behaviors, and we do this enough that we can trust each other in spite of the restimulation. It isn’t that we don’t get upset, but we understand the phenomenon and know that restimulation is not the end. If new people coming in don’t have that information, that knowledge, that experience, that understanding, it’s much harder on them. They may need to know some RC and have some experience with discharge before they step into the Communities.

I think we need to reach out to people without hoping the Community will teach them RC for us. If we want them in RC, we can start the process and stay with them until they can understand and work on restimulations. I think the odds of their continuing in the Community will be much better if we take that step first. Not everybody needs it, but it would probably improve things for most people.

I’m not proposing that we not teach fundamentals, but if we each taught one person well this year, and that person stayed, wouldn’t that be useful and satisfying? For us to grow, it isn’t necessary for us each to quickly recruit ten new people. To grow, we each only need to teach one or a few new persons each year or so. That would be more than enough to move things the way we are trying to move them. I offer that as a possibility.

So we have to think afresh—about what we are trying to do, about how we reach people. Sustaining All Life, United to End Racism, and No Limits for Women are trying some new ways of reaching people. Co-Counselors are getting good at it. New Communities are starting from these efforts.

Clearly we can continue to find new ways to get RC ideas out and build RC Communities. We can’t just hope that what we have done before will work as well as we wish in the next period. We always need new thoughts. And I think we have to try them out. All of our guidelines and understandings are intelligent and useful. How do we put them into practice in new ways?

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 188, July 2017)

Last modified: 2017-07-18 23:03:13+00