The basic premise of Inclusivity is that we are One. We are not separate from each other any more than we are separate from God.
The implications are huge. Holding this worldview means that we advocate for the whole, rather than for any one part. The truth is, our fates are linked. We depend on each other in ways we cannot see or even imagine. Every action (and every non-action) reverberates throughout the whole. What happens to any one of us, in some way, happens to all of us.
When we practice Inclusivity we recognize that building relationships is more important than solving problems. Inclusivity means we can experience connection, interaction and community with everyone – even with potential adversaries.
So how do we create community and meaningful interactions with those we consider ‘Other’? The first step is to recognize that the underlying issue in any encounter with the Other is fear.
I am afraid of you. I am afraid for my family. I am afraid of change. I am afraid of losing my identity. I am afraid my values won’t be honored. I am afraid my need for ‘Enoughness’ won’t be met.
Regardless of the presenting issue, the core issue is always ‘I am afraid.’
Our natural instinct when we are afraid is to engage in one of three behaviors – freeze, flight or fight. Practicing Inclusivity invites us to choose a different response – stay open and practice compassion.
Bring to mind someone who is ‘Other’ to you. You know who I mean. One of ‘those’ people. What are you afraid of? What might help you to release that fear.
Now turn it around. Who thinks of you as one of ‘those’ people? What might they be afraid of? How might you allay that fear?