Pushing for Change

From a talk by Tim Jackins* at the Actively Getting RC into the World Workshop, in California, USA, March 2018

The following is my analysis of the present situation:

Our increasing and spreading rationality as RCers, even if we accelerate it, is not alone going to be sufficient to stop the destruction of the environment. The rates of change are too disparate. The destruction is happening fast, and undoing decades of accumulated distress is not a fast process. It isn’t that we’ve failed; it’s just not a fast process.

So we have to do other things. We have to figure out how to demand and ensure changes in the behavior of society, and we have to do this before there can be widespread consensus about it. It would be nice if we could do this in an un-pushy way and if that was sufficient and there was enough time for it. Sorry, it doesn’t look like that’s realistic.

We tend to hope we won’t have to push ourselves hard and try beyond what has seemed like a reasonable point or challenge our timidities beyond a certain level. It looks like we will have to. We may have to do things we have never wanted to do, beginning with openly standing up and taking positions we will be attacked for. (laughter) Sound good? (laughter) How many people feel like they’ve been attacked? Most of us. And we wonder why we’re a little timid. As always, we can find where the hurt happened in our early lives and discharge on it so it’s not so believable in the present. But we don’t have time to finish that work, to finish discharging the distress, and besides it always works best to challenge things in practice.

For things to change in an oppressive society, there must be a large enough force to cause change. The force that we have a chance at mustering is the minds of many people. But we can’t sit small and quiet and say timidly, “I think it would be better if we . . . “ and provide enough confidence that people will dare to think, “Okay, I’ll do this.” Changing things requires going into open opposition—you, personally. It requires openly opposing the irrational policies.

Most large changes in society have come out of desperation, when people have been willing to risk everything rather than go on with how bad things are. It would be nice if we could move decisively before reaching that point. I think we can.

There are groups that are moving in good directions, and joining them would be a progressive step for most of us. But that may not be enough. The progress we've made in gaining back our minds has so far enabled us to engage in old forms of struggle, old forms of protest, more effectively. Maybe that’s not enough. Maybe new forms are needed. Somebody has to think of those new forms. That’s one thing.

The other thing is that often when we go into opposition, we don’t use what we know as RCers. For example, we are used to going against somebody. That’s easy to do. We can easily name someone to oppose. (laughter) But it misstates the situation and obscures it. It makes somebody the problem. We designate someone as our opposition.

We know that what we really oppose are the patterns that the person carries; not the person. How do we put out a policy that’s directly opposed to the irrational things somebody is saying while still openly caring about and respecting the person? How do we treat people as human while we try to dismantle their policies? I think we know how to do this—we just haven’t had much practice.

Can we be entirely human with people whose policies are directly in the way? Can we not back down [submit], not go wishy-washy [indecisive], be solid, and also understand how they got stuck there and that it’s not really them? How do we openly disagree and still treat them as fully human? What effect would that have on someone who is in direct opposition to what you think? I think it’s possible to do this. And I think we can do it more and more effectively as we try it and gain experience.

We are trying to reach people, including those embedded in irrationalities. Much of the time we haven’t really tried. We haven’t tried to get close enough to try. We’ve stayed distant.

As we spread the resource of RC, as we get ourselves in better condition, as we build a foundation for long-term change, let’s dare to use what we know, build on that, and play as effective a role as possible. I think we can figure out how to demand and cause changes in the behavior of society.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 192, July 2018)

*Tim Jackins is the International Reference Person for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities. 

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00