Why do we choose not to be inclusive?
Why do we exclude those who are different from us?
Observing people and my surroundings, I have noticed this instinct to only include those who are similar to us. We don’t stray too far from what we know. We get uncomfortable with the idea of befriending someone who is different from us.
Someone who lives their life a different way.
Someone who speaks their mind.
Someone who isn’t afraid to get out and explore the world.
Someone who speaks a different language.
Someone who doesn’t look anything like you.
Someone who is comfortable in their own skin.
We all may be different physically but we really are all the same. We are all people. We are all human beings. We all have a heart that beats blood throughout our body. We all have the same organs that work to keep us alive. Just because we all don’t look the same, does not mean that we are different. We get caught up in appearances, beauty, and fashion; all superficial things. All qualities that we hold with such importance. These are the same qualities that separate us. That make us look down on those who don’t have these material items that society tells us matters. That make us exclude entire races because of what we see in the media. That make us hate those who live lavishly.
When we engage in exclusion we lose out on life-changing relationships and experiences, monumental moments, fulfilling friendships, and above all sharing love with those who may need it the most. We learn all of this from the media, friends, and family. Previous generations grew up in a different time and mindset. They often instill their thoughts and opinions in their children without acknowledging that times have changed. But we have to be able to decide for ourselves what we want to believe.
How we want to live.
What kind of impact we want to make during our time here.
It’s so easy for us to stick to our old ways. We allow fear to deter us from stepping outside of our comfort zone. But sometimes we need to be okay with being uncomfortable. This is when we are able to be honest and open with ourselves. We are able to step into our fear, sit with it, and not let it paralyze us. We need to take this same approach to being open to all people that differ from ourselves. Once we embrace this, then we will no longer divide ourselves from one another. Instead, we will talk to that colleague at work, invite an acquaintance out to lunch, reconnect with a friend we lost touch with, or just put ourselves out there to make new meaningful connections. When we open ourselves up to bring new energy into our lives, we expand our perspective, our hearts, and our minds.