So so many thoughts roam around my body each day and it is sometimes really hard to put them into sentences in paragraphs which work and tie up and make sense!
Here is a start…the very statement:
‘I support inclusion’
This is a really brave one which gives me such deep respect for the person who said it. This statement sits as part of my husbands work signature on all the emails he sends out. I love it. This a bold statement about appreciation and inclusiveness of others. (Just as an aside, I wonder what people with preferences different to the majority, feel towards us? Do they constantly feel like they are treading on eggshells?).
In the light of ‘I support Inclusion’…..last night was a moment of…well I’m not sure what, but it was a moment. And it went like this. We celebrated our birthdays in a local quirky venue of which we had hired half….which immediately created an us and them, invited and not invited, situation. And here is a confession: I, so moved to anger by exclusion, found myself trying to make sure our party remained exclusive.
Did you just see that too? Exclude…exclusive…… suddenly Exclusive doesn’t sound so good anymore. Hmmmm.
Some effort, (I’m really not liking how I am coming across now) and some tattletaling to the security, thereby forcing him to become a part of the exclusion of others, went into tying to stay exclusive. I found myself responding to the desire of some guests, to try to stop the outsiders (there were a handful of persistent people) having a good time with us. You see, they could have a good time on their side, but not with us on our side….aaai man. How ridiculous.
This is such a problem in so many ways!!! Firstly others were made complicit in this exclusion, and to make things worse, this was a lovely guy called Charlie, who in his life must have also experienced exclusion simply due to his skin colour. And it is a problem because I responded to the whole situation in a way which compounded the idea that it is ok to exclude, and I am all about inclusion! To make things even worse, at the time, I was going against my gut feeling of simply living and letting live. I’m wondering now if this was partly due to a sense of entitlement? It was my party and my money…my dj…my friends….etc etc…
This is a very vulnerable post! Eeeeek!!
So here is where the pivotal point came. Charlie who had been having a crap evening to that point, asked if they could please dance with us and that he only get involved if someone behaves badly. I could see his relief on his face, which was echoed in my soul, when I agreed. I am tearful now as I write this. As soon as it was an even playing field, or dance floor 😉 everyone seemed to get on well on the whole! (Only the occasional irritation from jostling as a result of lots of people in a small space and some drunken stumbling). And I saw such lovely willingness to dance along side each other. As soon as the door was open, so to say, the pushing and shoving and frustration which had been on the other side of the door ceased.
People want to be included.
And I am sorry for my hypocritical behavior and for going against my gut.
Once i gave up the battle for exclusivity, I enjoyed my party even more. I hope I can say ‘lesson learned’ about this one.