Trying New Things

Hello Tim,1 

This is Bo-Young in Canada. So much has happened since I saw you at the Eastern Canada Workshop in May and then again at the Asian Liberation Workshop in August.

For some time you have encouraged us to try stuff, try new stuff, try stuff we’re not sure we’ll succeed at, try stuff with others, try and try again. I’ve been doing that for years. I’ve gone to film school. I’ve applied for upper-management jobs. I’ve reached out to my two sisters-in-law, and now we have monthly dinners together. I’m reaching out to neighbours (bringing food seems to help). I’m gardening. I’m claiming being an activist. I’m being more public about what I think. I’m gathering a group of strong women around me. I’m spending more time with my nieces and nephews. Then at Asian Liberation your direction was for us to throw ourselves into a cause and not hold anything back. Well, I had already decided to go full out [go as far as possible] with Sustaining All Life2 in Paris, and the results were tremendous. But what about outside of RC? Could I go full out with non-Co-Counselors in an organization doing important work?

I took six months to prepare for a non-RC international conference on monetary reform, which I attended last weekend in Chicago (Illinois, USA). I spent four days with (you guessed it) mostly older white USer men, some of whom were the top thinkers in the field. I said in my introduction in front of this group of fifty that it was a miracle that someone like me was at a conference like that. I said that I’d done the required reading—an eight-hundred-page book on the history of money, written by the co-founder of the organization—but that I had no theoretical banking/monetary/economic background whatsoever. (Truth be told, up until recently I’d had no interest and absolutely no attention whatsoever for the subject!) I explained that I had gotten to the conference because of my climate activism and social-justice work. I told them that after attending COP213 and talking with people from the least developed countries, it was clear that to address climate injustice we had to discuss money and the banking system and that it was odd that money and banking were not being talked about in wider circles.

During the conference, I talked to a lot of people. I stayed central and visible as an Asian female. I asked questions, reached out to the handful of women and the two identifiable People of the Global Majority, and scouted out the older white man who actually had some attention to connect. There were some very interesting characters, and I managed to have fun while I was there.

Well, fast-forward to the present, one week after the conference: I have appointments to talk with professors, activists, legal experts, someone in the U.S. Treasury, and others like a fire fighter, a hotel bellman, a quilter, and some teachers. They’ve each agreed to talk to me for an hour and basically teach me the key elements of monetary reform. Can you believe that?! I’ll be getting taught one-on-one by some of the most experienced people in the field! How did I manage that—a completely new and inexperienced person like me?

Well, at the strategic planning session on the last day of the conference, I said that if we wanted to broaden and diversify our support base, raise more public awareness, and build more coalitions, we had to be better at communicating these complicated and mystifying ideas to ordinary people in ordinary language. I told them I would help them with that. (I’m an educator specializing in language and cross-cultural communication.) I said I would interview different people from the conference and that their job would be to explain things as creatively and as simply as they could. I would take note of what worked and what didn’t and then write up a summary of my findings. One guy wanted to do an animation series as a public-relations project, and I told him he could use my findings. We need to get more people talking about this, and they can do that only if they know what’s happening.

I have the full backing of the leadership. It seems like these older white men have been kind of “stuck” in their isolation and that my coming along has been like a breath of air. Here are two appreciations that stand out:

“The positive response to your initiative confirms it comes from the right person and at the right time!”

“I love your down-to-earth personality, positive attitude, high energy, enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearless courage. So I’ll stand by your side to help make monetary reform in both of our countries a reality. You will not be alone.”

We’re taking on the banks at the highest levels. It will have huge ramifications for creating a more rational, just, and humane society. And what I learned at the conference is that it’s actually doable! It really is.

Bo-Young Lim

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

1 Tim Jackins
2 Sustaining All Life is a project of the RC Communities in which Co-Counselors bring what we’ve learned in RC to people working to end climate change, environmental degradation, and environmental injustice.
3 COP21 was the United Nations conference on climate change held in Paris, France, in late 2015. Sustaining All Life sent a delegation to Paris to bring RC to the climate activists gathering there during the conference.

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