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Introducing a New International Leader for the Environment

Dear friends who care for the environment,

Hi! You may have heard that I am the International Liberation Reference Person for the Care of the Environment. I never expected to be chosen and was very surprised to get a telephone call from Harvey. This is a great opportunity for me, and I will do my very best.

I am a married working-class mother of three children, and I have a part-time job as a daycare worker. I am Frisian. Friesland is a nationally oppressed part of the Netherlands where people speak a different language. Friesland is one of the oldest nations, maybe theoldest in Europe. We have a lot in common with Ireland, Scotland, and the Basque country.

My husband lives separate from our family because of illness from breathing solvents (as a house painter). Through his illness I learned what chemicals can do to people in the long term. We are members of an organisation which works hard to get the government to admit responsibility for the illnesses one can get by working with solvents, glue, paint, photochemicals, printing ink, etc.

My whole family participates in RC. My oldest son, Egbert Atema (Liberation Reference Person for Young People in the Netherlands), and I play an active role. I have been a member of the RC Community for ten years and have led three national workshops on the environment. I am Area Reference Person in Friesland North and take leadership in women's, parents', and young people's liberation, and in family work. By the end of this year most of these jobs will be taken over by other leaders in my Area so I can use my energy to do this environmental job well.

I would love to get to know you, too, and very much look forward to meeting people who want to have an active role in stopping the damage done to, and taking leadership in saving the needed diversity of, the universe.

I do not know exactly when I started to be an activist for peace and the environment, but twelve years ago I started to work for Greenpeace. I have done several things for this organisation. I coordinated a group of people who gave lectures, distributed merchandise, collected donations, and supported people who took public actions for the environment.

I've been looking back at my life and have realised that whenever I've really taken leadership in a situation, I have always been successful. Whenever Imade the decision and was not busy with my fear of making mistakes, it always went well. This gave me the information I needed about myself to ask for this job.

There is a lot of work to be done, and the next lines are the most important things I can think of right now.

  • We have to spread the basic information about care for the environment. Using the theory of RC, we realise why we have been stuck in fear and sometimes fail to show our enormous love. Most of the confusion which comes over us was installed very early in our lives and makes it look as if we have lost the natural ways of taking care of ourselves and our environment.
    We have not really lost these. If we only remember what we really are, just as important as everything in nature, we will make different choices and live more rationally.
  • The earth, the sky, the seas, the animals, our children-there is nothing we can possess. All that the world has to offer is made in complete balance in a very complex but logical way. There is enough of everything that we need. Hunger is a thing which could be stopped in a few days if there was not so much confusion in what we think we need. We, as humans, have the opportunity to develop ourselves and enjoy ourselves with intelligence and creativity.
    There is lots and lots of discharge needed wherever we behave in the way our society wants us to do. We have to change our comfortable loneliness, materialism, and consumerism, which isolate us. To live a full and good life makes people want to follow us. Everybody wants to be connected with and close to someone who loves and takes good care of herself or himself. We have made many mistakes here. Now we need to show these mistakes and learn from them and let go of all the embarrassment.
  • We have to share what we have already learned with as many people as possible, inside and outside of RC, to create a growing group who can think with us. Environmentalists are simply people who are aware of the situation our whole world is in. We need to work with people from all groups, from all over the world. The environment is a concern of all of us, no matter what age or race we are, or what culture or class background we have, or which part of the world we come from.
  • We have to support each other in the best ways we can. We have to be brave, and we have to learn to deal with attacks. From experience I know how hard it can be to take a stand where many people have given up. If we don't organise our personal support it will soon be too much, and even the brave, bold person will get lost in exhaustion and desperation. Our plans may be good, but they will not succeed if we are not deeply connected with a big, diverse group of people.
  • There is a great commitment for us to work with-the one for world changers! The part which says 'the world needs me well rested' has given me a few of my best sessions.

I have a few more things to say. We need to produce a pamphlet summarizing all the good written thinking on the care of the environment. If you have suggestions, please let me know. I will talk it through with Harvey.

I think it is important that there be contact persons for the care of the environment all over the world, and that there be people who can lead support groups and workshops, and that we work together towards a big conference in the near future.

This is it for now. I hope and expect that this letter is the start of something we all have in mind for this world, that is, to build a movement, stone by stone, solid and strong, which will not stop until all the work is done.

I love you all for all the work you have already done and hope to hear from you soon.

Wytske Visser
International Liberation Reference Person for the Care of the Environment
The Netherlands

Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00