Working on the New Goal

Hello Carers of the Environment,

I would love to hear how you are working on the new RC goal on care of the environment—both yourself and in your classes and groups.

What I’ve done is give a brief history of the work on Goal 3 (our earlier goal on care of the environment)1 and the process of working on the new goal at this year’s ten Pre-World Conferences and then at the World Conference. I’ve had people “find their connection to the goal” by reading through it with attention and then discharging on the part of it they find most significant for themselves right now. People have been able to discharge well. They have had lots of thoughts and re-evaluations by reading through the goal and discharging. What have you tried?

Here is the 2013 goal:

That members of the RC Community work to become fully aware of the rapid and unceasing destruction of the living environment of the Earth. That we discharge on any distress that inhibits our becoming fully aware of this situation and taking all necessary actions to restore and preserve our environment.

Distresses have driven people to use oppression against each other and carry out destructive policies against all of the world. A full solution will require the ending of divisions between people and therefore the ending of all oppressions.

The restoration and preservation of the environment must take precedence over any group of humans having material advantage over others. We can and must recover from any distress that drives us to destroy the environment in our attempts to escape from never-ending feelings of needing more resource.

With love,
Diane Shisk
Alternate International
Reference Person
Seattle, Washington, USA

Three of us reported on the RC Care of the Environment Conference to all of our Community. We read the new goal together and had sessions about the things that were difficult.

We have also had two classes on the topic, and we talked about it at our recent one-day workshop. Four of us are meeting on Skype2 every fifteen days to discharge and keep thinking about what are we going to do with care of the environment in our lives and in the Community here.

We send each other articles and talk about topics related to care of the environment that are significant to us, and discharge. So far we have found that we need to work more on genocide and class oppression. Sexism has also been on the agenda, as has the difficulties of saying, and of course writing, our thoughts.

I want to write more about what we have discovered, but I need to do it in Spanish because it is easier for me. Someone has offered to translate for us, and that is going to be our next project on the topic of care of the environment.

Dulce Cisneros
Mexico D.F., Mexico

I led an Area3 workshop in November, and we spent the last part of the day reading the new goal on care of the environment. Earlier in the day we did some work on ending racism. I also mentioned the Native people on whose land we were meeting.

When we read the goal, most people seemed to put their attention on the part of it that says, “A full solution will require the ending of divisions between people and therefore the ending of all oppressions.” Because it was a small group and this was the first time we were working on the goal, I wanted to listen to as many people as possible. The support-group format worked well.

I am a volunteer leader of an environmental organization. I am discharging in my sessions about the patterns I have to work around to make things work for the entire group. Of course, these patterns are full of various oppressions. I can clearly see why we need to eliminate all oppressions.

I need to talk to another volunteer leader in the near future and will have a chance to talk about distress patterns. I want to talk about the difference between the person and the patterns, because I cannot think of a more caring and human way to tell this person why I don’t think they are the right person for a particular job.

Roberta Paro
Norwich, Connecticut, USA

I recently led a one-day workshop on care of the environment for the Vermont-New Hampshire (USA) Region.

Five local RCers met with me several times to help me get ready. They let me try out ideas for theory talks and counsel each of them in demonstration sessions, along with giving me extra discharge time. To build more support for myself, I had phone sessions with four people who attended the Care of the Environment Leaders’ Conference.

In the week before the workshop, I had two-way sessions with thirteen people and received six and a half hours of counseling time. This is about twice the amount of counseling I normally do. In one session I remembered that Wytske4 would be pleased that this workshop was happening, so I sent her a brief e-mail about it.

I also made phone contact with each participant. On the registration form I had asked what people were already doing for the environment, and during the call I appreciated the things they had mentioned, and offered a mini-session. I asked them each to bring to the workshop one bit of good news about the environment and to read Tim Jackins’ article “A New Goal on Care of the Environment” in the October 2013 Present Time. I also asked them to answer the following question with whatever came to mind: “What is your biggest vision for the environment?” This gave me a sense of each person’s current thinking. Some people let me hear their discouragement.

The organizer and I worked with the participants to arrange carpools, and each carpool was given a couple of tasks. One was a job to help the workshop go well (such as coordinating lunch, being in charge of recycling and compost, registering people, setting up the room, cleaning up the room, doing a literature skit, selling literature). The other was to create a new joke about care of the environment, based on typical U.S. joke forms: knock-knock. . . . ; two (somebodies) walked into a bar . . . ; Bill McKibben5 died and arrived at the Pearly Gates6 . . . ; once there was a rabbi, a priest, a Protestant minister, and an environmentalist . . . ; a planet goes to the doctor and says, “I’ve got a fever,” and the doctor says . . . .” Throughout the workshop, we filled the time when folks were returning from mini-sessions with jokes or bits of good news and got to hear from each person several times. This helped lighten the day and keep everyone’s attention out. And it was fun.

At the workshop, after introductions, a mini-session, and a song, we began to work on the new goal. I started by paraphrasing what Guy Wood, our Regional Reference Person, had said about it soon after he returned from the World Conference in August: the goal will help us face what has happened and is happening to the environment and take action together. I reminded the group that in RC we have a one-point program: “to use RC to seek recovery of one’s occluded intelligence and humanness and to assist others to do the same.” I also talked about the process of setting goals within the RC Community.

Then I summarized the goal in my own words, stating that we must change the way we live so all life on the planet can live, and that we must do this work together and end all oppression at the same time. After that, we did a mini-session in place—that is, without moving to different areas of the building. (We did each of the mini-sessions that followed in place as well.)

Then we gathered our attention and cuddled up with each other and I read the first eleven words of the goal (not even the whole first sentence). Some people were shaking or laughing. So I read the whole sentence slowly and deliberately, emphasizing parts of it that felt most important to me. Something like this: “That members of the RC Community work to become FULLY . . . AWARE . . . of the RAPID . . . and UNCEASING . . . DESTRUCTION . . . of the living ENVIRONMENT of the EARTH.” Then we had another mini.

The next sentence I split into two, so that it was expanded, with a mini on each part: “That we discharge the distress that inhibits our becoming fully aware of this situation.” (Mini.) “That we discharge the distress that inhibits our taking all necessary actions to restore and preserve our environment.” (Mini again.)

We continued through the entire goal in this manner. My sense was that folks got enough discharge that they were ready to go on to other topics.

Laurel Green
Rockingham, Vermont, USA

I e-mailed the new goal to the members of my ongoing class the week before we met and asked them to read it. In the class I spoke about how the goal came to be adopted and what it implied. We passed it around and read it aloud. I also did a couple of demonstrations, going with the clients to the part of the goal where they knew they could work. One of the demonstrations was on discouragement. Then we discharged in three-way sessions. Following that, I asked for insights and new thoughts. Several emerged!

I especially like this goal because it includes the elimination of greed, classism, and all oppression.

Glen Hauer
Berkeley, California, USA

In my ongoing class we reviewed the Present Time article about it7 and discussed the goal and discharged on it. It seemed very useful for everyone.

Selwyn Polit
Austin, Texas, USA

At the West Coast Canada and United States Reference Persons’ Workshop, twelve people, led by Shelley Macy,8 did a topic group on the new goal on care of the environment. Shelley had us use a simple format that we thought might be useful to others in getting their Communities working on this goal:

The new goal was posted on the wall in large writing for all of us to read. We did a series of eight three-minute mini-sessions—changing partners after each mini, one right after the next—in which we looked at the goal and discharged on whatever piece of it we wanted to.

Our time together also included a brief opening go-’round,9 a description by Shelley of the process used at the World Conference to set the goal, and a closing go-’round in which we each shared one thing we learned and one thing we liked about the process.

What we liked about the process

  • Fun! People did humorous things to keep it light, for instance our creative “human timer.”
  • We got to hear other people's perspectives on the goal.
  • Our thinking was stimulated by hearing and being listened to by a variety of people.
  • Standing up and moving to change partners helped get our attention out between minis.
  • We got through the whole goal in all its breadth, depth, and comprehensiveness without getting swamped or bogged down.
  • Doing minis with so many people helped us connect with each other.
  • What we learned
  • Destructive actions toward the environment are the physical result of our distresses.
  • This could be a useful method for getting the Community working on the goal.
  • I need to take pride in what I’ve already done toward the goal before doing more work on it.
  • It wasn’t until after several minis that I noticed the word “discharge” in the goal.
  • Using the direction “This won't happen because . . .” brought lots of discharge.
  • As an environmentalist, hearing the phrase “rapid and unceasing destruction” brought discharge.
  • I discharged fear on becoming “fully aware” of the destruction of the environment.

Beth Cruise
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I’m pleased about the class I led today on the environment. I’ve tried them before, but this one really started moving things (probably because I’ve had some strong sessions on the topic).

After reading the goal in mini-sessions, we counseled on our own “environment story”— early connections to the environment, learning about the environment and its degradation, any attempts to influence it, activism, successes and failures, and so on. People loved it. Everyone had a story. It loosened things up and built attention. Then I counseled people in front of the group on the following:

  • What do you need to discharge “to become fully aware of the rapid and unceasing destruction of the living environment of the Earth”?
  • What do you need to discharge to “take all necessary actions to restore and preserve our environment”?
  • And finally, in a really cheerful tone, “Catastrophic climate change won’t happen because . . . ,” based on Harvey’s10 work on the threat of nuclear disaster.

There was a lot of laughing; the clienting was very animated. It became magnificently obvious by the end of the sessions that discharging about the environment points people quickly and directly to their chronic material.11

Like with the work on racism, it was effective primarily because there was group attention to contradict the despair, discouragement, isolation, and feelings of being overwhelmed connected to the topic. Also helpful was my insistence to face the pull to avoid it. And it seemed important that we started the class with discharging racism; that helped us comprehend the intrinsic connection between the two topics.

Lynda Wightman
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

1 Goal 3, as adopted by the 2001 World Conference of the RC Communities and reaffirmed by subsequent World Conferences: That members of the Re-evaluation Counseling Community put increased attention on discharging the distresses that have led to the continued degradation of the environment of the world and to discouragement about taking the actions necessary for its restoration.
2 Skype is a service that allows for audio and video communication between people via their computers.
3 An Area is a local RC Community.
4 Wytske Visser, the International Commonality Reference Person for Care of the Environment
5 Bill McKibben is a well-known U.S. environmental activist.
6 “The Pearly Gates” means heaven.
7A New Goal on Care of the Environment,” by Tim Jackins, on page 3 of the October 2013 Present Time
8 Shelley Macy is the Regional Reference Person for Idaho, Montana, and part of Washington, USA.
9 ”Go-’round” means time in which each person had a turn.
10 Harvey Jackins’
11 “Material” means distress.

Last modified: 2017-05-07 06:35:41+00