We can’t begin to understand Inclusion, until we first understand exclusion.
Many of us have felt the sting or humiliation of exclusion, when we were not accepted, or chosen, whether it be for a school, a game, a sport, a competition, a job or even a “private” or “Exclusive“ club that doesn’t even try to hide the fact that they exclude!
Historically exclusion has been evident through the separation by social classes. The wealthy vs the poor, the separations by race and religion, etc….
We are not born with these bias’. They are a learned behavior passed down by our family members generation to generation.
Exclusion leaves one feeling less than, invisible, overlooked, undesired and unimportant.
In reality, we tend to separate ourselves into groups because they are comfortable. We seek out those who look the same, speak the same language… or are from the same religion or financial status. People we feel we can relate to.
So how do we break the chain?
First, we must want to create a change for ourselves. We must do the work, then we must become aware and recognize those that are also on a journey to change and grow in their potential. We must recognize and accept others just as we wish to be accepted. Even a simple compliment can go a long way to making someone feel appreciated, accepted and included. Only then can we break down the barriers of class separation and exclusion.
Recognize when someone needs to be seen and heard and reach out! Ask for someone’s input and really listen to what they have to share. You may be amazed at what you learn.