What to Do in the Current Situation

Since I’ve become a climate activist (in the last six years), I’ve discharged a lot on what keeps me from thinking clearly about the present situation and taking the most effective actions for reversing climate change. I have good access to the early distresses that are restimulated. I’m also involved in a number of organizations and participate in lots of “activism,“ which pushes me.

One of the most useful things for me has been teaching two eight-week RC class series for people who want to look squarely at the world situation, discharge, think, and take action to transform our society from one based on exploitation and greed to one based on caring, ending all oppression, and valuing all life.

The class has helped me move my thinking forward. As I prepare for it, I read, discharge, and try to think freshly about the long-term goal of societal transformation and the short-term goal of reversing climate change. I select topics for the class that help me think about all this.

We’ve read Logical Thinking about a Future Society, by Harvey Jackins; some of Harvey’s and Tim Jackins’ articles; and some things I’ve written. We’ve shared thinking about the present situation and how to be effective. People have also researched and reported on individuals and groups that have made transformative change.

I’ve counseled people and set up support groups. In most of the first eight weeks, we did a go-around on what the Trump administration had done since the previous class to outrage us, followed by a mini-session.

In the last class, everyone discharged about, then had a minute to say, what form their activism would take in the following year. I defined activism as putting our own thoughts into action in the world in any way that moves us forward. (I assumed that building RC and getting it into the world would be part of all our work, so people didn’t need to mention that.)

I wrote both a short- and a long-term plan that continue to change as I discharge. My main work will be in RC, as that is where I have the most influence. But I also have specific goals for my work out in the world, especially on climate change.

I have many questions about what I will do concretely over time, but I am deeply involved, in motion on several fronts, and building many relationships. I will keep discharging on what comes up and asking myself if what I am doing is the most effective work possible.


Halfway through the eight weeks of class, we read Logical Thinking about a Future Society. (Most people had never read it, though most of them are RC leaders.) Harvey issued a challenge to us on pages 8 and 9:

I think it is time for all Co-Counselors to take stock of the changes in the world around us, to revise and update all our programs and attitudes. I think it is possible to use our theory and our skills to propose and guide activities for all people that will serve their real needs and the needs of the world of the future.

Objective conditions are very favorable for building fundamental liberation and social-change movements that can, in the process of their activities, evolve the structures and programs for a future unoppressive, workable, rational society. These movements in particular will need to become armed with the knowledge of the existence of distress patterns and the roles of distress patterns and with the skills needed for coping with and eventually eliminating them.

The principal need at present in the wide world is for a clear, understandable analysis of the current world situation (including the role of distress patterns) and a reasonable, understandable, beginnable program for taking thorough-going, persistent, no-limits action to change the entire world situation. . . .

I propose a wide discussion leading to a fully developed program that will deal concretely with the situation facing us in the 1990s. As background for this discussion, the articles that follow in this pamphlet, reprinted from the Wide World Changing journal, are the best immediate contributions I can offer.

I hadn’t read the pamphlet in years and didn’t remember this challenge. I am excited by it and also notice that we haven’t succeeded at it yet.

It seems to me that in the past we couldn’t fully take up [act on] the challenge because we hadn’t done enough work on early distresses. Our thinking wasn’t clear enough, and we weren’t free enough from early recordings of defeat and powerlessness. We were stopped by heavy early distresses that as a Community we hadn’t yet been able to shift.

The situation is different now, with the focus in the last ten years on discharging early “unbearable” distress. I think it’s a great time to take up this challenge. The people in my class and I have decided to do it, as have some others who responded to my posting online.

Would you like to form a local group to take it up? As we progress, people leading the groups can meet online and share ideas. Julian Weissglass (the International Commonality Reference Person for Wide World Change) is willing to work with me and head up [lead] this project. Isolation was probably an additional factor that stopped us from moving forward in the past. With the present ease of global communications, it should no longer be a factor.

Let Julian or me know if you would like to do this in collaboration with other groups around the world. (You can reach Julian at <julian@weissglass.net> and me at <dshisk@earthlink.net>).

Diane Shisk

Alternate International Reference Person for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities

Seattle, Washington, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

(Present Time 189, October 2017)

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