Vicki Chats – Stay Calm Stay Positive

. . . And the last item to leave Pandora’s Box was Hope.

Love those who are desperately waiting for RAPTURE.

“What would Lewin do?’ I have been wondering about it quite a bit lately. One reason is my effort to communicate with a rapture group on Google named ‘Peace for Israel.’ Perhaps naivete led me to expect a group titled ‘Peace for Israel” really meant peace, not war, genocide, and destruction.

But, lovers of passionate people surely must love those who are desperately waiting for rapture. Their passion is misplaced and the four-letter words spewing from their mouths match those words of their counterparts in the colonial state of Israel . . . but there can be no doubt, they are absolutely passionate. Although, many times their fear has a greater edge than their passion.

Kurt Lewin understood human behavior perhaps better than any social scientist, living or dead. Lewin’s theories and the conclusions he reached from his observations of behavior are important, because he excelled in communicating them in splendidly practical and logical steps.

Lewin carried out a major portion of his experiential learning and action research at the University of Iowa (until 1944). His experience in WWI as a soldier during 1914 is said to have motivated a changed perspective on group dynamics and leadership impacts.


Lewin’s Field Theory suggests that behavior develops from the interaction between an individual’s environment and the individual. Change the environment; change the individual. His insights on how change occurs in human beings grew and matured from that basic assumption. And then he asked, what happens in the mind of the individual that allows them to change. Lewin’s theory has been a lived experiment for me. My insider understanding often helps me communicate with difficult people. The three major steps of the change process according to Lewin are listed below.

  1. Reorganizing Information (Data received are changing  the perceptions and the worldview of the individual.)
  2. Taking Action. (Mentioning a new perspective on the violence against Palestinians to the group.)
  3. Experience Consequences. (Consequences can range over a large variety of treatment. The individual may be treated with disgust,verbally abused, threatened, or worse.)

If you want truly to understand something, try to change it. Kurt Lewin (1935)

The person waiting for Rapture is very afraid of alienating the group with whom they identify and from whom they gain their support. The idea that they could be perceived by the group as agreeing with anyone deviating from the rigid thinking of their group is terrifying. Cruel consequences result from taking any action that can be perceived as betrayal or rebellion, such as thinking for oneself, . . . consequences can be dangerous. A person in the Rapture group may slowly start to realize that peace does not equal the genocidal actions against Palestinians. But, they are restrained from taking action because of the consequences they will have to face.

Taking an action counter to the Rapture group-think will lead to experiencing uncomfortable and maybe, painful consequences. In the worst-case, they may be ostracized from the group and left totally alone. They need a new group, a safe group to move into before we can expect them to change.


Lewin, Kurt. (1947). Frontiers in Group Dynamics: Concept, Method and Reality in Social Science; Social Equilibria and Social Change Human Relations, June, 1:5-41

Lewin, Gertrud Weiss (1948) Preface, in: G.W. Lewin (Ed.) Resolving Social Conflict, London: Harper & Row



1 comment

  1. avatar
    michaelduffy July 6, 2014 9:30 pm 

    “Hope Dies Last”, Studs Terkel.
    Vicki, my favorite quote.

    Michael Duffy

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