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Holding Out a Hopeful Perspective

I was one of the twenty-five RC volunteers with the Sustaining All Life project in Paris. Seeing RC going public was fantastic. Loads of brilliant, flexible thinking and organizing, together with warm attention, made it irresistible to attend the thirty-four workshops and forums led by Sustaining All Life—not to mention all the planned and spontaneous listening projects1 and the fundamentals class held every day.

The forums we arranged gave people a chance to share their personal experiences about climate change for three minutes each. I learned more about the situation in Madagascar, Nepal, Congo, Brazil, La Réunion, the Philippines, Indonesia, Alaska (USA), and lots of other places around the world. The topics of the forums included Indigenous People and Climate Change, Young People and Climate Change, and Climate Change in Developing Countries.

I helped recruit people to our forums and workshops and asked them afterward if they were interested in learning more about RC and Sustaining All Life. I used five of the six languages I speak and had lovely connections with three men of the global majority—from Singapore, Nepal, and Paris—who attended several of our events. Having people share their personal stories instead of only talking about their organization made a big difference.

Something I experienced when I was alone handing out flyers for one of our workshops has led to massive discharge. Across the street from the workshop site were apartment buildings where lots of people of the global majority lived. And several times I saw the police use violence against young men of the global majority. I was furious. I wanted to cross the street and walk up to the boys, ask them about their experiences, and invite them to the workshop. I wish another RCer had been by my side to support me to dare to initiate a listening project.

During the conference it became clear to me what we are holding out to people. Sustaining All Life is interested in relationships with other humans and with our planet. This is hopeful, and people sensed it and wanted to be part of it.

The discharge process is a powerful tool that people long to use, and they want to be listened to. We need to spread this to more people if we are going to think well about the environment and each other as humans. We have distresses we need to discharge to be able to do our best thinking about how to divide resour-ces equally and replace a system based on profit and competition with something else.

Since I came back, I have decided to have sessions on a regular basis with four of my friends, as a way to spread the listening tool. I want my friends to have big lives. Hopefully some of them will join the fundamentals class I am starting in the spring. I am following Azi´s2 direction of increasing the numbers of South, Central, and West Asian-heritage Co-Counselors.

Sujata Maini

Stockholm, Sweden

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of South, Central, and West Asian-heritage people

(Present Time 183, April 2016)

1 In an RC listening project, several Co-Counselors go to a public place and offer to listen to passersby about some important issue, such as racism or the environment. They may hold signs that invite people to share their thinking about that issue.
Azi Khalili, the International Liberation Reference Person for South, Central, and West Asian-Heritage People

Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00