Inclusion is a patchwork quilt of differing ideas and viewpoints.
The practice of inclusion arises from the practice of intelligent patience. This is because inclusion is about working together. It’s like a choir. In a choir people sing in many voices to become one voice. They must be aware of one another and work as a single entity. If one of them sings off key or decides to become a renegade soloist then harmony isn’t experienced.
Inclusion is a feeling of belonging, therefore it is an integral part of harmony and unity. Sometimes we’re included, but we still feel excluded. How can that be? It happens when we don’t feel good enough or we’re afraid that we won’t fit in. Instead of helping ourselves feel comfortable, we may unconsciously choose to blame others that we don’t feel comfortable. Inclusiveness isn’t always comfortable.
If a person is suffering from feelings of invisibility no matter how much everyone says, “Come on, join in” we’ll withdraw and blame the group that it didn’t work. Sometimes, it’s too hard for us to be a part of something, like the renegade soloist, we want to be exclusive not inclusive. It’s perfectly fine to want to be on your own, that isn’t an issue. The problem arises when we push on others and blame them.
To shun someone is an action that is designed to make the other person feel less than. To shun is very different from having healthy boundaries for ourselves. By deciding that your lifestyle doesn’t match mine, I can freely walk away without having to put you down, that’s a heathy boundary or I can walk away feeling superior to you. That feeling of superiority isn’t a healthy boundary, it’s shunning. Once we feel superior to others and we’re not introspective enough to become consciously aware of it, we begin to legitimize shunning. You know, we speak about others as being, “Those people.”
It begins by telling others that you would never associate with those people. This is the first step towards separatism, bigotry, prejudice and worse, genocide. The initial feelings of exclusion arises from our own feelings of inadequacy and instead of practicing compassion for ourselves, we blame others for our hurt feelings, and these feelings will fester into resentment. Resentment is a mild form of hate. If its left untreated it will become bigger and gain momentum.
Being inclusive doesn’t mean we agree, but it does mean, we agree to disagree. Inclusion doesn’t mean we hang out together, rather it means, I see you and I respect we can’t occupy the same space right now. That’s intelligent patience. Practicing love always leads to understanding one another. Practicing exclusion will not promote self love or the love of others. Practicing inclusion will promote intelligent love.
For another take on inclusiveness and what I’ve written here, please watch the video above.
Peace be with you Namaste,