Reaching Many People’s Minds

Tim Jackins, at the Transforming Society Workshop 
in Warwick, New York, USA, January 2020

We are coming into a period with battles that none of us have seen before. I think it would be helpful for us to have a goal. An ultimate goal would be for a large number of people to get a picture of what being rational, being fully human looks like. This would mean using RC more fully, reaching out more widely, and helping every mind we are in contact with to get a glimpse—or more—of humanness.

We need to get many people to turn in the direction of rationality. We need to get them to turn away from isolation, away from thinking that everybody is against them, or that nobody notices them, or that their interests do not line up with other people’s. We need to show that there is no conflict between us and them. That there is a place in their world where they can assume that their interests are aligned with somebody else’s. And we can do this in small, hardly noticed, but always felt ways.

Even if one gains societal power, it doesn’t work very well unless one has many, many other minds already coming with them. Maybe one makes some big step—still, what can happen next is limited if one is not in direct contact with enough people.


We have RC. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. We know how to use it in particular circumstances. I think we can use more of it, more often, more openly, and with more people. We do remember to use one piece of it fairly consistently: listening. We give other minds a chance to use this bit of the process. It has been useful to the functioning of various groups. That’s good, but it’s a small piece of what we can do. 

I think it is possible to do something every day that will move another mind a little way out of distress and make it a little more likely that that mind can communicate with your mind. Every single day there are many things, small and large, that each of us can do to reach toward another mind. Doing this could build something significant. 

It’s going to take ten million small nudges to turn heads in a direction that lets them see reality more clearly. Ten million small touches, ten million small “good mornings” in a warm, welcoming voice to pop someone out of their preoccupation with their distresses. 

We need to remember how trapped in early distresses we ourselves have been. We have gone on in spite of it. Around us are locked-up minds, longing for liberation, longing for any taste of life outside of their distresses. Every single person we run into [encounter] has had big early hurts happen to them. Every day they live back there where they got hurt. Why do they have trouble understanding (for example) a clear forward-moving policy? It doesn’t get in. It doesn’t get in to where they have been trapped and held by their distresses. What we say gets reinterpreted by their distress, all of the distress that they have never had a chance to fight their way out of. We have to keep that in mind. 

We do need boldly stated policies and strategies and more. But these need to get into individual minds, and they get into individual minds through other individual minds, minds that can think about them, for even a moment. That can create a possibility. We know how to do this—we just need more practice. 


We have to get other minds in contact with us before we have much chance of communicating anything useful. Unless we reach people’s minds, we are blindly throwing out good things and they bounce off. 

I learned a tremendous amount teaching elementary school. I learned to walk past every single desk. Every single desk. These were second graders. Almost every little girl would grab my hand and every little boy would hit it. They would make this contact; then, when I was up front teaching, we would have a place to start that I could use to communicate. Most of us are not with second graders. They are much easier. Much easier. 

I don’t think big rational changes can happen until ten thousand little human differences happen first. How many hundreds of people do we need to be in contact with to make the world a better place? How many of them don’t we even look at usually? 

Maybe we can look at someone long enough to catch their eye and just raise the corner of our mouth a quarter of an inch. They would probably notice. They would notice any human thing coming in their direction. We could just put a hand on their shoulder. We could say one little oddly complimentary thing that they would have to notice and think about. We could ask them something. Maybe we say, “I’m struggling with this question—what would you do?” Maybe for a moment we lean against someone we know and ask them (for example), “I’ve always wondered, where were you born?” We can say to people who are distant and oppositional, “I want us to be allies.” We can state that because it is true. It is our long-term goal, our intention, whether we can make it happen right now or not. 

Anything that shows we are interested in someone’s existence will cause them to turn a bit in our direction. And they might know a lot of things that would be useful to us.

Every day we can make contact. Every day we can begin to build a relationship with somebody. When we get up feeling lost, we can say to ourselves, “How do I turn someone two degrees today? How do I do that? Who will it be?” That’s always within our reach. 

Tim Jackins

International Reference Person for the Re-evaluation Counseling CommunitiesTim Jackins

(Present Time 199, April 2020)

Last modified: 2023-04-15 09:24:12+00