|We are generally taught that inclusion is a good thing. Remember Valentines Day when you were in grade school? Everyone got a valentine. Our mothers would not have allowed us to skip anyone for any reason, even if it was because the kid was a bully or stinky or whatever.|
Later we are taught, or at least they try to teach us, that everyone is equal. Or should be equal. Or should be made to be equal. All men are created equal. Equality of justice. Equality of opportunity. Equality of outcome. (I don't agree with that last one at all.)
Among the circles of friends we have, inclusion means something else. Whether you are planning a cookout, a camping trip, a wedding -- there is this tricky game we all play. The guest list. Who is on it, who's not, and why? If we invite the Browns, then we have to invite the Smiths and the Carters.
It can be rough. I got married a few years ago. There was the balancing act of who was in the wedding party. Then there was the guest list. And while there were people I wish I had invited to my first wedding, I don't fret about it anymore because that marriage didn't take anyway. Interestingly, a lot of the people whose friendships I treasure today weren't at that wedding. But about a month before that first wedding, we attended another wedding. And, we were seated at a table where every couple but one had also been invited to our wedding. And someone brought up how in just a month, we'd all be at our wedding. And boy, did I feel small, and terrible, that I had not invited that one couple. Because I hadn't forgetten them -- we just had to draw the line somewhere. But I was still sick over it. I saw they were hurt to be passed over. And indeed, we ended up inviting them late. I enclosed with the invitation a hand written note apologizing for overlooking them and telling them we would be honored if they would attend. And they did. And I am glad they did.
MDC once pointed out to me something interesting about the word "inclusion." After being brought up to be inclusive, you then go shopping for engagement rings and learn what inclusion means when it comes to diamonds: flaw. A diamond that is heavily included is heavily flawed. Inclusions that are visible to the naked eye are far worse. And what are inclusions? Little impurities. Throw "diversity" out the window when you go diamond shopping. Together with cut and carat size, the ideal is clear and colorless purity. Inclusion is bad! And then, I suppose, after learning all this you go home and prune the guest list. Hmmm.
Not much of a theory. But even I got Valentines from every kid in elementary school and I was big nerd.