Engaging the Other

As we put our spiritual tools to work on shifting toward a consciousness of inclusivity, our biggest challenge is shifting our own unexamined notions of who is ‘other’.
In his book Creating a World that Works for All, Shariff M. Abdullah suggests that the key to making this shift is to practice expanding our notion of ‘us’ to include everyone we see.
Take moment to consider who is part of your inclusive community – everyone who is…
  • driving on the same road
  • living on the same street
  • begging for change at the same bus stop
  • generating trash
  • regularly recycling
  • riding in the same car
  • riding a bicycle
  • watching television
  • refusing to watch television
  • smoking crack cocaine
  • smoking cigarettes
  • smoking spare ribs
  • self-employed
  • working for a corporation
  • working for a non-profit
  • unemployed
  • attending a church service
  • walking in the park
  • sleeping in the park
  • and on and on and on…

In order to weave the tapestry of an inclusive society, we must develop our awareness of who we exclude, and then work to shift our own thinking first.
Inclusive Meditation Practice
Bring to your mind and your heart an image of someone you consider to be Other. As you hold this image, read the following words:
You’ve had to be strong for so long, you don’t remember who you are.
   When I see you, I see myself too.
   I know the child hidden in your heart.
I know the ones who most hurt you are those you trusted most of all.
   To forgive them is to live again and heal 
   the heart of that child so small.
You’re only human, like me.
   Your lonely sometimes, like me.
      You’re longing for love, like me.
         You’re just like me.
                               from Just Like Me by Daniel Nahmo

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