News flash


Moving Forward from the World Conference
led by Tim Jackins
February 5

Threats from Nuclear Weapons
led by Julian Weissglass
February 11

Unified Goal on the Climate
led by Diane Shisk
& Janet Kabue
March 4 or 5

Working on Our New Care-of-the-Environment Goal 

Some in RC say that our new goal on care of the environment* makes an activist of every RCer!

The language of the goal may be restimulating. The situation caused by climate change is heartbreaking and frightening. It is urgent. Therefore, the tone of the goal is urgent, too. But not using the goal means missing a chance to reach for unity and the ending of all oppressions. They go hand in hand, don’t you think?

What is your answer to the question, “Do I try to escape and look away, or do I take the lead?” Each of us has to ask ourselves that. And we need to be united to be able to face the uncomfortable feelings that follow.

The time when we can lean back and blame a parent, ally, neighbor, leader, the government, industries, or think that others will solve the problem of the mess we humans have made, is over. This is the time when we have to cooperate and find unity with each other—across race, age, gender, class—and with all of life.

How do we make the new goal on care of the environment more visible in RC? At workshops we can get into topic groups of three to five people and take turns reading the goal and discharging our feelings about it. We can also lead tables, support groups, and classes on it—at workshops as well as in our home Communities. And in every class, ongoing or fundamentals, we can work on it. We can write about the outcome and send it to the RC e-mail discussion lists and to Present Time—to inspire us and help us improve our use of the goal.

Deep feelings of powerlessness and discouragement may come up. Well, didn’t you want to get rid of them anyway? Please welcome the feelings as the best chance for your re-emergence. No one wants to know how bad the situation really is; you are not standing alone here. Start talking about your feelings. Otherwise you will back off and leave the situation as it is.

I recently talked with a woman from Fiji who wondered, “Will my grandchildren live on our island, or will it be gone?” I responded, “My country is below sea level, and I worry about the same thing.” We felt a connection that gave both of us strength. Sharing our fears and worries is empowering; pushing them down is paralyzing.

I was raised with the saying, “Sharing hurts makes them half. Shared joy is double joy.” Joy and zest for life, closeness and connection, need to be a big part of the process of facing the horror. My mother told me that in the darkest hours of World War II, closeness and fun were the only ways to survive and also made the war not only the hardest time in her life but the richest. “I was never more alive than in that time,” is what she often said.

Our goals are meant to guide us, as individuals and as a Community, in the best possible directions for the world. We need more workshops that advance our goals, and the workshops need to be fun and re-emergent, because the topics of the goals can often feel overwhelming. 

Some of our International leaders are already planning to include work on care of the environment in their workshops (Racism and Care of the Environment, Women and Care of the Environment, Wide World Change and Care of the Environment). Blending this work into even more of our workshops (Indigenous People and Care of the Environment, Care of the Environment and Jews, Care of the Environment for Young People, Care of the Environment and Class) would make our new goal on the environment even more visible.

I’d love to hear how you are already making use of this goal, and our other goals.

Wytske Visser

International Commonality Reference Person for the Care of the Environment

Ljouwert, Fryslân, the Netherlands


Thanks, Wytske, for this encouragement.

I have found it useful to work on my own significance before discharging on the goal. I take the direction “I matter” for least ten minutes, without thinking about the goal or the world situation. This makes it easier for me to choose to work on the goal (for myself), and I discharge more deeply.

I did an experiment in my support group. The first time we worked on the goal, we just discharged on the goal. The next time, we first had a mini-session on noticing that we matter, and there was a big difference in how people discharged and where their minds led them. So at our Regional care-of-the-environment workshop, we again had people do the mini-session first, and it worked well there, too.

I observed that it worked in two ways: (1) It contradicted the powerlessness and discouragement the goal can bring up, making it easier for people to discharge. (2) It helped the client (and counsellor) remember to approach the goal with the tone of voice and body posture of someone who knows she or he is significant.

Jenny Spinner 

Stroud, Gloucestershire, England



Thanks, Wytske, for sharing your thinking about the care-of-the-environment goal and the importance of building unity. I was inspired by your posting. Yesterday when my middle-class care-of-the-environment and “mental health” liberation support group met, I suggested that we discharge on the goal. We all had great discharge and enjoyed listening to each other. We also played lots of games with nature themes. In the closing circle, everyone said they were eager to continue discharging on the goal.

I noticed how the goal brought up lots of early, heavy feelings for me: not understanding things that adults talked about, humiliation, feelings from no one explaining the situation in the world, how intensely I cared about the environment and people and equal division of resources.

I was happy I had booked a long Co-Counseling session this morning so I could continue discharging on the goal.

Sujata Maini

Stockholm, Sweden

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders in the care of the environment

(Present Time 191, April 2018

* The new goal on care of the environment adopted at the 2017 World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities:T

hat members of the RC Community become knowledgeable of the clear evidence of the continually growing damage to the environment and all life forms, especially the climate change resulting from the ever-rising temperatures caused by human activity.

That we face and discharge any distress that interferes with our finding sustainable solutions, including the ending of the oppressive and exploitative nature of our societies. That we decide, discharge, and act against any distress that inhibits us from determining immediate steps, as large and radical as necessary, to end this damage, and from organizing and agitating for their adoption by governments and industries.

That we do this work together with everyone—especially oppressed communities, which are currently experiencing the most damage from climate change.

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