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Video excerpt from SAL/UER workshop on racism at the Global Climate Action Summit

Draft Program on Climate Change, for your comments (updated March 5, 2019) (short version now available)

 

Sharing What I Love

I want to talk to you about my the first class of my first round of a fundamentals course. We are meeting at a Lutheran Church in the center of Rio Piedras, the part of San Juan where I live. The pastor there has been supportive of the work.

I invited six friends, four relatives, and seven other people that I knew. Nine people showed up; three who didn’t come had situations come up at the last minute. I was pleased with the attendance. My sister, Yahyra, and Carmen (from Oregon), constituted my base for the class.

Before the class I felt: (1) enormous insecurity about whether I really knew enough Co-Counseling to teach it, (2) a lot of fear around revealing what I believe with no apologies (especially to friends and family); (3) a few worries about the parallels that Catholic people can make unawarely between RC and the Church. It was fear, fear, and more fear for four days straight before the event.

I got a great direction from a Co-Counselor a couple of hours before the class: “What would you do if you decided not to be careful?” That was great: a certain attitude about having fun came through. It helped me decide to do a demonstration during that first class.

The actual class went well. We first had introductions. Then I spoke about how everybody who was there was somebody I wanted there, and how I or Yahyra had a special connection with each one there. I emphasized that I brought RC to them the same way that I would bring any other thing that I loved. When you have something that you love, you want to share it with somebody who will understand, and that’s usually somebody you love as well. Enjoying something is even better when you enjoy it with others you care about. I added that just as we have different opinions about many things, we could disagree about what I was about to present, and our rleationships would still stay intact.

I asked each person to say why he or she was there. It was super nice to hear cousin Javier say, “I’m here because you invited me.” And my friend, Luiso, said “Because you invited me; I knew I should check it out if you’ve found it useful and thought it might be good for me too.” Ufff! Wow!

I felt fear during the class for about three minutes and that was it. I presented theory for ten minutes and then went right into a demonstration with Yahyra. Then they had mini-sessions. I had no trouble presenting the no-socializing rule this time around, and I required everybody to make a $3.00 mostly symbolic contribution for the class. Then we did a good closing, finishing early, and everything was awesome!

It went really, really well. I thought that almost everybody would be back. They just looked good.

Yara Alma-Bonilla
San Juan, Puerto Rico


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00