I Remembered How Interesting RC Is

Japanese Version

I attended the 2017 World Conference. It was my first World Conference. When I was first invited, I did not want to go. (I was scared.) An RC leader in the United States has taught me many things over the years. She wrote me the e-mail below, which made me want to go:

The reality, of course, is that this conference is probably the safest place in the world. Just think: So many good people, from so many parts of the world, all committed to doing good things—people who have been discharging for many years. Think about a room full of people with more attention than you have ever seen in one place in your entire life! No wonder you are discharging fear! (Just don’t believe the feeling.)

When I got to the conference, no magic happened. I was restimulated as usual. Once the Guidelines groups got started, things moved so fast in English that I felt scared, embarrassed, and victimized. I could not keep thinking clearly. 

What helped me was Skyping with my five-year-old daughter, who was waiting for me in Japan. Because of the time difference, her bedtime was my morning. So I could see her and talk to her every morning. Every morning she cried and said, “I want you to come home now! I want to go to bed with you!” As a parent it is hard to listen to my child wanting something that I can’t do anything about. But my roommate, who listened to my daughter with me, said, “It takes a lot of courage to say what you want, especially when you know you won’t get it. We adults can’t do that very well anymore, but those are important sessions.” She also said, “It is inspiring to see a young person fighting so hard every day and not giving up.” Because of that, I was able to remember that it took a lot of help for me to get to the conference and that it made sense to decide every morning to not stay in my bad feelings. 

The best thing I got to see at the conference was the work on classism and Native liberation. It is so great that we now have goals on these issues. Before the conference I was never able to relate to the work on the environment (so I avoided it). However, how to work on the environment became clearer to me after having the goals on classism and Native liberation, because I could see the connections among those issues.

The second best thing at the conference was seeing and hearing people talk about prostitution. I learned about different perspectives on and experiences with it—based on class, race, and whether one has disabilities or not. I realized that as a working- and middle-class Japanese woman I have the privilege of not facing some hard things if I don’t want to. I also realized that I am numb to the sex industry. When I was younger, it felt closer and scarier. But as I got older, I put the lid on my feelings and did not think about it. It was shocking to realize how numb I had gotten. The shock was similar to the one I felt when I took my first fundamentals class.

I had so many good and bad feelings at the conference, and I am glad I got to go. For the first time in a long time, I remembered how interesting RC is. When I teach what feel like “bad” classes, or feel horrible in my sessions for so long, I sometimes cannot remember why I am doing RC. But the conference reminded me why I am doing it, and why I want to teach it. It was good to remember the meaning and value of this tool. Thank you.

Mako Hirahara

Tokyo, Japan

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Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00