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Raised Poor, Thinking About Climate Change

I was raised poor in the Midwest United States and am currently living poor (by U.S. standards) in the Northwest. I have started discharging in Co-Counseling sessions on my fears about climate change. I like the idea of getting connected before initiating the work.

Many of the people I meet are poor, riding buses, homeless. We are all craving connection. Today I met a young adult man, homeless, in front of a grocery store, offering to work. He said, almost with tears in his eyes, how much he appreciated that I stopped to talk with him. That simple act made his day,1 and mine.

I want to discharge so that I can think and be present with people in whatever situations I find myself in. I am going to lead a raised-poor/working-class support group, and one of the things I want to address there is the new RC goal on care of the environment.2

I recently started reading Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. Even the title makes me smile. I recommend it.

Mary Daniels
Portland, Oregon, USA

1 “Made his day” means made him very happy.
2 A goal adopted by the 2013 World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities:

That members of the RC Community work to become fully aware of the rapid and unceasing destruction of the living environment of the Earth. That we discharge on any distress that inhibits our becoming fully aware of this situation and taking all necessary actions to restore and preserve our environment.

Distresses have driven people to use oppression against each other and carry out destructive policies against all of the world. A full solution will require the ending of divisions between people and therefore the ending of all oppressions.

The restoration and preservation of the environment must take precedence over any group of humans having material advantage over others. We can and must recover from any distress that drives us to destroy the environment in our attempts to escape from never-ending feelings of needing more resource.

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