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Miracles, Connection, and Leadership

From talks by Wytske Visser1 at a Care of the Environment Workshop in the Basque Country in 2015

We humans all are a miracle, and we all have one thing in common: we have been in the womb of our mother. We all started as one egg and one seed cell. It’s a miracle that in two hundred and sixty-six days we grow from a tiny little egg and seed cell into a baby. In this time, in a very complex way, our central nervous system, heart, and digestive system all work together so that we can live. That’s a miracle.

The oppressive societies make us forget how special it is to be alive. The media puts out confusing messages. Most of us have the idea that we are not good enough.

CONNECTION

It is very human to care deeply about nature. Our DNA is ninety-five percent the same as a chimpanzee; seventy-five percent the same as a dog; fifty percent the same as a little fruit fly; and, amazingly, thirty-three percent the same as a daffodil. There is no doubt that we are connected with everything alive in nature.

It can seem to us that many people don’t care about nature. Everybody cares deeply. If a person acts like he or she doesn’t care, it is because of deep hurts from oppression. We do not have to blame anyone for being so badly hurt.

There is something about being together physically that creates safety. Small children know how to do this. They grab you. They climb on top of you. They hold on to you very tightly. They want to have human contact and be close. Then they feel safe. Therefore I like it when you are close together. I encourage you to have a lot of physical contact. We are not thinking about sex but are being like young people, who are naturally close. If we get close like this, then logically there will be more safety and we will discharge more and deeper.

We are naturally connected to each other, and to everything in the universe. The oppressive society tries everything to break that connection, which is cutting off a natural behavior of human beings.

LEADERSHIP

During World War II, on the evening before the huge bombing of Rotterdam, the minister said on the radio to the Dutch population, “You are safe and you can sleep well.” The message we got was that somebody would take care of us. We get this message in our education, in our workplaces, in religion. We are told that we are not responsible. There are many people in the world saying, “I am not responsible.” In Re-evaluation Counseling we think that everybody is responsible—the full one hundred percent. We also say that we have to do it together. It’s like a line in a song from the musical group Pink Floyd: “Together we stand, divided we fall.”

Society gives us messages that we are too small to lead. We have messages in our heads that say that we are not good enough, that we cannot play a big role, that we don’t know enough, and twenty other messages of internalized oppression that make us feel small. We start believing that we are not good enough, not powerful. We are scared to show ourselves fully. Every human being is naturally powerful and can be a powerful leader. I want us to discharge on this. We need to learn to encourage each other to take bigger steps and more powerful leadership.

In RC we often lead on top of our fears. And we feel stupid for having fears and other feelings. This morning before we started, I had the feeling that I knew nothing. I felt really stupid for feeling that way. I knew it was internalized oppression, so I did a mini-session and discharged about it, and then my thinking was more available.

We often forget to discharge about our leadership in RC. Especially in environmental work, we want to move on. That is why we are here as a group. In these last months I asked people in Skype groups to discharge about leadership. I was surprised at how much everybody has to discharge on it. Every one of you has the ability to be a big, brilliant leader. Every one of you can play an important role in the area you want to lead in. It is crucial that we discharge about our leadership. It is also crucial that we become good counselors for leaders.

We need to figure out where someone needs to grow in her or his leadership. In society when people are not functioning well in their work, they are fired. We don´t have a lot of examples in society of people who are not functioning well getting help to function better. There are two things we have to do: The first is to discharge and think about our own leadership. The second is to think about how to support other leaders.

Leaders wrestle with patterns. We have more to learn about how to support leaders, how to break through their patterns. It is important that we get better at supporting leaders and stopping their chronic distresses from being acted out. Sometimes we are so fed up (disgusted) with the patterns that we distance ourselves from the person. But what we need to do is come closer, so the pattern can be discharged.

We are easily discouraged. We can feel, “Okay, I give up.” Because of messages planted in our heads by the oppressive society, we tend to give up easily.

I’ve been thinking about how I, as a working-class leader, am now an International RC leader. I had important encouragement when I came home from a workshop with Harvey Jackins. I told people what a fantastic leader he was, the best of every one I knew. People in my first fundamentals class that I was leading said, “But you have the same brilliant mind.” I could not believe it. They kept saying it again and again.

Another important encouragement was when Harvey would call the working class together separately from the whole workshop. He wanted our thinking and would tell us about being working class himself.

At a time when I was going to lead a workshop in England, Harvey phoned me. He had figured that it would be difficult for me to lead a workshop in England as a Frisian. I was really scared when I phoned him back. He said, “I wanted to tell you what a brilliant mind you have, what a great leader you are,” and he kept saying good things about me for ten minutes. Harvey could really think of what a person could be, so that she or he could give more powerful leadership.

We can all phone each other. If you know someone is going to lead, talk to her or him for a few minutes about how fantastic, brilliant, and powerful she or he is; how much you believe in her or his power and great mind. We can do that. Then ask later, “Was it helpful?” We have to learn how to encourage each other so that we are more confident and can break through the feeling that we are alone.

It is time that we take as much leadership as possible. And it’s important that we don’t do it alone.

The new goal for care of the environment2 was adopted at the 2013 World Conference of the RC Communities. The highlight of that conference for me was Tim Jackins asking everyone, two hundred and thirty people, to think together for a long time about the goal. All these leaders were thinking together about a goal to move the work forward.

When I was reading the goal, one of the first things I thought was that Tim Jackins had gone up in a “helicopter” to look at all the problems the world is facing. The goal gives that overall viewpoint. We are most effective in our leadership when we are able to make decisions from this helicopter viewpoint, from a total overview, and ask each other questions about it.

Since the goal was adopted, many RCers worldwide have been leading on care of the environment. The work is growing much faster. With our growing awareness, we can help awareness grow everywhere.

Wytske Visser

International Commonality Reference Person for the Care of the Environment

Fryslân, the Netherlands

Excerpted from an article on pages 1 to 3 of Sustaining All Life, No. 2

(Present Time 182, January 2016)


Wytske Visser is the International Commonality Reference Person for the Care of the Environment.

2 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: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00