Inclusion or division. It’s in the school playground. The workplace. Our neighbourhoods. And in election campaigns. It’s either “we” or it’s “us versus them.”
Inclusion involves seeing everyone more alike than different. Realizing that no matter what your race, religion, ethnicity, weight, sexual orientation or bank account is most people want the same thing. Health, happiness and someone to love.
There is no doubt that parts of society must change. There are people who are not being treated equally. There are people who are abusing authority. We must find solutions that allow everyone to be heard. Everyone to feel safe. But if we assign blame it incites more division. We need to start small, where we are. Do good things for those around us. Don’t be a bystander when you see something unfair. And use your voice to raise the bar.
Max de Pree once said, “We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”
Lead with love and acceptance. Champion solutions over blame. As Roy Barnes once said, “We are all one — or at least we should be — and it is our job, our duty, and our great challenge to fight the voices of division and seek the salve of reconciliation.”
In most cases the issue is the system. But the system doesn’t have a beating heart or a thinking brain. We do. And it’s our responsibility to make a difference. As Ryunosuke Satoro once said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Let’s make waves.