Young Biennial Age Group Leaders Needed and Available

My son, Richard, will be five years old on May 8th. This past weekend we were at Keith Miller's open workshop, and I was impressed again with Richard's ability to use RC in a conscious way, his interest in theory, and his desire to build real counseling relationships and be involved in ways other than as a client.

One of the discussions at this workshop was about how many of our Communities struggle with the transition between family work (where young people are expected to be primarily client and not listen to much theory) and "regular" RC formats. One person pointed out that our own hopelessness as adults, in the face of the "teenage cool" pattern, makes us feel unwanted or unneeded, and we tend to leave young people of this age alone to figure things out for themselves. Reality tells us, of course, that it is rational for everyone to make full use of the resources available to them, that anything stopping someone from doing this is distress. There are many ways for us to help make this happen without being oppressive. There are possibilities other than pushing our own agendas or being timid. This is true not only of our interactions with teenagers, but with young people of all ages.

We can trust that all human beings, regardless of age or other factors, are completely capable of thinking clearly about their own lives if they are given adequate attention, resources, and information. We need to remember that although a five-year-old's issues are different enough from an adult's that she or he may not be interested in an adult counseling class, accurate presentation of RC theory is important, useful, and understandable at any age.

In line with encouraging people to remember the inherent creative intelligence of every human being beginning from birth or before, Richard thinks (and I and other local and Regional leaders agree) that it is important that Biennial Age Group Leaders be appointed for all years up to the present. Richard was quite disappointed that this was not already true. Clearly, any reference or coordination-type job will look quite different among very young people than it does for older people. For example, in-person and telephone contact will be more important than written communication. Adult support people will be needed to help the young people to write letters and articles, or to read them. Richard loves to hear theory and news read to him from RC literature, sometimes with the longest words translated for him. He often has valuable insights about how they apply to himself and other people his age.

I would like to propose Richard as the Biennial Age Group Leader for people born in the years 1991-1992. I told him this would probably mean receiving letters and phone calls from other people his age and their parents and support people. He said he would be very excited about that. I also told him it would mean working with me to write letters and articles for the other people in his group and talking to people about what is good and hard about being his age, and that he would probably go to more workshops (his favorite thing in the world, although money often keeps us from doing it as much as we would like).

Richard is excited about this, although he initially expressed some fear that the title would bring expectations from people which he could not meet. When I assured him that he would be expected to do exactly what made sense for him and that he would have more support than ever from the Co-Counseling Community he said he thought he should do it.

Some groups Richard belongs to are: activists, young people, men, working-class people, Swedenborgians, people raised in RC, scientists, and artists.

Richard and Tori Lodge
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, USA

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