Karaj and I visited Harriet and George. We chatted about their Christmas, spent with some of the other group members. I was surprised (but not really) to hear that the Sikh men had been isolated from each other: ‘There was no communication between them.’
There was a wooden puzzle lying around, which Priya and Simran had apparently been unable to complete over Christmas. I put it back together. The learning point for life was that I examined the pieces to see which ones fitted where before I could proceed to put them all together. The last three years have been about identifying the pieces of life and now I am starting to put them together. And I will succeed.
I phoned Simran and challenged him about his commitment to the group and to the work. He was quiet and accepted what I was saying, including the fact that he accepts external circumstances rather than making things happen. There was no real force or power behind his words. He says he is committed but when it comes down to it he freezes and turns into a little girl.
Then I phoned Dev with the same challenge. He was very clear that he has had enough. It is all too much for him and he needs a break. Everything he does ‘is wrong‘, and he cannot face it anymore. I told him that no-one is asking him to do anything extra – just get back to the basics – but he has made up his mind, for the time being at least.
Ishwar was next. He is somewhere between Dev and Simran. He says he needs to think hard about whether it is all worth it. I told him that the unity of the Sikh men had been a figment of my imagination – they are separate from each other despite sharing culture, faith and language.
These three calls brought more clarity to me about where the group stands. They also empowered me because I was straight with people and challenged them appropriately.