Day 12 Lenten Meditation: Inclusion

It is easy to avoid those who make you uncomfortable. Those of a different culture, those who act differently, those who speak differently. It’s easy, but it’s not fair. Or kind. Or right.

It’s easy to ostracize those who are different. Those with disabilities, those of a different color, those who are too smart or not smart enough. It’s easy, but it’s not fair. Or kind. Or right.

Inclusion is difficult. In a classroom, it means having children with disabilities, especially those that get in the way of learning, in the same classroom as other children, working with aides who help them work around their disabilities. In the workplace, it means teaching the majority how to treat the minority with the same courtesy one treats their acquaintances. In everyday life, it means cultural competence and the ability to see the world through the other’s eyes. All of these require effort, discomfort, and honesty to oneself.

Inclusion is necessary. Humans evolved because of their ability to adapt. They evolved from genetic difference that led to more adaptation. We evolved socially with differences among people. We only adapt when there is difference — different attitudes, different experiences. We must include others for the sake of our own future.

And because it’s fair, kind, and right.

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