The fact that we are all different isn’t the problem when it comes to diversity & inclusion. Our “problem” (read: shortcoming) is fully grasping what inclusion means, appreciating diversity, & then making the effort.
If we’re doing inclusion right, we get cookies at the end of the baking process. We often stop at integration, which is all the ingredients for cookies in the bowl before they’re all mixed together–the egg yolk is unbroken, the brown sugar is still clumped together, the flour is all pushed up the sides of the mixing bowl…
Think about how & why, so often, churches and schools and grocery stores have predominant races. Potter’s House. Highland Park High School. Fiesta.
We still have insulation & isolation at certain times & in certain places.
It’s understandable–looking at different things as good kinda goes against everything our brains tell us. New can mean unpredictable.
And unpredictable is risky.
And risk is scary.
And scary is unadvisable.
It’s why we have the same arguments politically, go ‘round and ‘round about all sorts of issues, and why the promise of change works just as well as actual change.
Change is hard. [And it doesn’t always mean progress, but hold tight for that article.]
We, as people, have shown that we’re fine with the appearance of change, even the appearance of trying to change, but are cool with ending up back at square one. That’s a fruitless cycle & a mindset to overcome. It’s a symptom of a deeper issue that extends into our own lives.
When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
- Distance becomes opportunity.
- People become resources, assets.
- Problems become nothing when we look for creative solutions that work comprehensively (instead of just thinking that the outcome we want is the right-and-only acceptable conclusion).
Diversity has the power to make us better, if we harness its power. When we see all the many parts–events & emotion, storylines & timelines, actions & reactions–as part of The One, Big Story… then, respecting & understanding, even admiring, everyone else’s parts for what they are… well, thinking of it like that changed everything for me. (And helped me recognize & transcend the anger I felt from being hurt by some of the ugliness from these past few years.)
I needed a new way of relating to people when I felt so disconnected. I challenged myself to empathize with the people who I felt the most anger towards.
I needed humanity.
I didn’t need it from anyone. I needed to understand humanity & connect myself to what it is to be human.
We each made it this far. Imagine all the things that had to happen to put you here… your parents had to meet, one sperm out of them ALL had to find its way in, the genes & cells & ALL THAT TINY, CRAZY-TINY, WEIRD, CRAZY, BIOLOGICAL STUFF had to come together the way they did for you to happen right here, right now.
Now, apply that to everyone.
So, yeah, we’re all gonna be pretty different. We’re each tiny things out of the entire universe trying to negotiate our respective journeys.
But, hey, we’re tiny things out of the entire universe who are somehow crossing paths in the moments we do. OUT. OF. THE. ENTIRE. UNIVERSE.
Feel like separating, denigrating, or otherwise hating now?
Plus, and this is the most important part…
INCLUSION MEANS COOKIES.
A blast from the past: Why You Should Care About Inclusion