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Grateful for RC

In the wake of the U.S. presidential election, I have been grateful for our RC theory and practice.

Shortly after the election, I offered my university students some RC-influenced perspectives. I told them that our internalized oppression can minimize our sense of power, that we have a choice about whether to succumb to feeling victimized and immobilized, and that the confusions and ill-preparedness that led to the election outcome are not our fault, that they were decades in coming and preceded by millennia of oppressive history. I said that sexism, racism, disability oppression, and the other oppressions operate together and reinforce each other and that challenging oppression takes a lot of time! And I told them that backlash is an inevitable part of progress, that it can serve to expose the deeper barriers, that we can learn from our mistakes, and that our connections with each other and our clear thinking are our greatest resources.

My students had already participated in enough listening pairs that after saying this, I could send them right into listening. In my classes I occasionally tear up when discussing hard topics and often mention that tears are liberating. Several students were crying, and knew it was safe to do so.

I’m discharging on facing my deep despair while trying to help friends without much access to discharge remain hopeful. My in-session direction for myself is “Keep despair alive!” I’m hoping that getting lots of discharge on discouragement and early hopelessness will help me effectively encourage others to think well and steer clear of the “frozen hope” that can keep us numb and not seeing more deeply and clearly what is actually unfolding.

Marsha Saxton

Berkeley, California, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of college and university faculty

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

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