Confidently Introducing RC Organizational Forms

Harvey Jackins, at the July 1986 Peace and Disarmament Activists’ Workshop

Question from M—: I have been trying to introduce RC organizational forms into my work and have come up against people’s patterns of being unorganized. Even the idea of sharing in twos rubs people the wrong way.* They feel like it’s contrived. How can I get them past that point?

Harvey: Change your attitude. You’re too timid about it. Just say, “We’re going to do something that I’ve found works very well.” Don’t say it this way: “I’ve got something that . . . uhhh . . . .” (Harvey imitates M—’s halting, timid manner.) That’s an invitation to attack you, and in any organization there will be plenty of patterns looking for something to attack, in hopes of getting a session. “Today we’re going to do it this way!” Let’s hear it.

M—: Today, we’re going to do it this way.

Harvey: Almost right. (Harvey continues to repeat it in a confident, no-doubt-about-it way.) Try it. (M— tries several times.)

Harvey: The problem isn’t with the organizational forms; it’s with our tone of voice and our posture and our faces.

We should also get over the idea that RC is some special, peculiar thing. These forms are universally useful. Take them everywhere. Use them everywhere. This is what will build your world community around you. This is what will build a peace movement in which you will just walk down the street and say, “Where are those missiles? All right! Bring them out! We’re dismantling them.” (laughter from group)

Just use them. People are ready for it. Everybody has been waiting for something like this.

* “Rubs people the wrong way” means annoys people.

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