Enthusiasm Leading to Success

My life now in the beginning of 1998 is going quite well. I am in general in a better mood than I was in 1997. During the whole year of 1997 I discharged easily and enormously, much crying - all the time using directions toward the good reality, like "Only love is true," "You and me, counselor," and so on.

Within two years my husband and I can expect to become parents for a child from India. Within three to four years we plan to move "home" to Tingvoll, a small village on the west coast of Norway. It is my husband's home municipality. We will have better possibilities to live cheaper, healthier, and more quietly there, and we won't both have to have 100% full-time paid jobs in order to cope with daily life's financial requirements. Thus there will be more time for children, neighbourhood, and spreading RC.

This is quite different from the present, in which we both have at least 130% jobs. When I am not in my office or out travelling for my job, I am booked with some kind of RC activity. Before RC got into my life, it was other things that kept me constantly busy and feeling like I "never had time." Here we come to one of the major dilemmas in my life. On the one hand I love my job and all I get done there, and it is with totally free will that I devote the rest of my time to RC. On the other hand, I "hate" the consequences of my lifestyle: I don't know my neighbours, I never have a weekend off, and I never have enough time for friends and family. In addition, I don't have time to join a choir or learn to play accordion, which I long to do. With the lifestyle I have today I don't reach out to build new relationships. As you can see, I feel stuck here!

I recently attended a conference called "The Good Life," about disease prevention and health promotion. Several of the speakers talked about "time." A lot of us always feel we have too little time and are constantly struggling with the "time enemy." One speaker inspired me when he asked the question, "What are we revolutionary people doing wrong when we have so little time that we can't stop to talk to a child on the street or get to know our neighbours?" Jesus and Buddha are examples of two people who never wrote down a word of their thoughts and who always had time to talk to the "person on the street." They inspired mass movements and hope for millions of people. And Jesus did not spend more than three years of his life spreading his message! They both based their actions on the power of meeting "people to people, person to person." Those open, close, and honest meetings made history. They were right!

I will tell you about my paid work, on which I have spent enormous amounts of time and energy in the last four years. In 1993 I was to write a report on disease prevention and health promotion, with a special focus on heart diseases. After a couple of months and a journey around the country, I could tell there was no need for this report. Instead, people around the country had told me they needed education in the area of communication and interaction.

I got the idea of presenting to my leaders and the social and health ministry, reports from the journey, some RC theory, and the idea of my conducting workshops/courses. They all liked my idea and gave me half a year to experiment and try it out. I think they went for this idea because of my enthusiasm (you know, a Norwegian cultural pattern is to be timid).

After this half a year passed, with more and more positive responses from the participants, the health ministry wanted to attach the workshops to a national program called "Children and Health (1995-99)." I got extra money from the health ministry in 1996, 1997, and 1998. In 1996 we spent money on translating into Norwegian seven of Patty Wipfler's pamphlets and How to Give Children An Emotional Head Start. In addition, we hired Monica Fosse, an RC teacher and a friend of mine, to lead some of the workshops. Monica and I also developed a two-day advanced class for those who were most interested after the one-day workshop. By the end of 1997 we had arranged and led a total of sixty one-day and six two-day courses all around the country for people who work directly or indirectly with young people. We have reached approximately 1,200 persons (ninety percent women) with an introductory RC class (that's what it really is). We tell about RC; we talk about the benign reality, about discharge, patterns, and leadership; and people do not become provoked or scared but rather are inspired and very engaged: "Why haven't we learned about this before?" "You must come to my workplace and educate all my colleagues."

By the middle of 1997 we had received so much enthusiasm and so many wishes for spreading the pamphlets on a bigger scale that we made an agreement with the university bookstore to sell them. By October 1997, five of the pamphlets were for sale to the whole Norwegian population, both in "Bokmål" and "Nynorsk," the two official script languages. By May 1998 we will also have them ready in Lapp, the indigenous people's language. One idealistic organization called "Adults for Children" has listed the pamphlets in their catalogue. A publisher's house that distributes information about pregnancy and parenting is also interested in cooperating with spreading the pamphlets. This publisher gives out publications for free to all pregnant women and via the birth clinic to all new parents in Norway. (The publications are sponsored by business, but they are serious, and most of the content, except for the diaper ads, is very good.) The press is also more and more interested in the pamphlets, the workshops, and the philosophy behind "the whole thing."

Some colleges have recommended that we try to get the pamphlets in as curriculum at different schools that educate "children workers" (kindergarten teachers, nurses, social workers, and so on).

The last stage in this national program is the documentary stage, in which I will try to do fieldwork and end up with a scientific article. I may take a trip to the USA to interview people on the method of RC family work.

My goal is to have the course attendants themselves, and especially those who have attended both course levels, spread the methods, start support groups, and distribute the pamphlets and the other information. This has happened on a certain level. I regularly receive phone calls with announcements about activities and questions connected to these.

Torill Enger Karlsen
Oslo, Norway

Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07