May 1, 2024: The Inclusion-Exclusion Craziness

(The) Difference between diversity and inclusion is being invited to a house and being able to rearrange the furniture. Jane Siber

All paradises, all utopias are defined by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in. Toni Morrison

Why were you not there, except when you were not there?  Samsara Spider, translated from the language of Stillness, a right risky translation.

The inclusion-exclusion, diversity-homogeneity friction is apparently about badgering others to give up their definition of belongingness. It comes off as the grievance de jour syndrome and a tempest in a teapot?

Forget all the weapons employed in the inclusion-exclusion wars—they are numerous and ultimately about a win or lose outcome.  Or, if we employ the eye-for-an-eye system of “justice,” a way to make everyone blind.  Who shall be the first to throw a stone?  It’s a stampede of folks charging out of their respective glass houses to get the jump on “others” in their glass houses.

What happens if we frame seeming “opposites” with the word “and” instead of “either-or”? Substitute “and” for “or” in the following: freedom or determination; win or lose; black or white; pregnant or not pregnant; male or female; similarities or differences; rich or poor; educated or not; liberal or conservative; democratic or republican.  Plug it in, take it for a ride.  See how it feels, how it sounds, how it smells, how it looks, how it “tastes.”  Notice how only one is a clear category—pregnant or not pregnant.  The remainer, including win or lose, depend on how we define the respective terms.  And each of those remaining “categories” all have overlapping principles.  When we accept as correct without question, we run the risk of knee-jerking ourselves into an imprint.  That imprint becomes a banner to wave on the battlefield.  Got to know which  folks are on “our” side as we do not want any of “ours” to be accidently offed.

Biologically, opposites are used to enhance detection, not exclusion.  Our senses use opposites to enhance signal detection by inhibiting non-relevant information.  For instance door frames painted very differently from walls help to find the door.  Focus points enhance and backgrounds fade. Focus on what was the background and the former focus now becomes the background (think Gestalt figure-ground illustrations as in the “old woman or is it a young woman”). Failure to do this with one’s emotions and cognitions will result in an unexamined view.  Then we have a kind of Lemming Effect when others join in, because there is nothing like support to prove we’re correct, right?

Apparently we all want a quest and the righteousness of that quest can remain unexamined as long as our bias is out to prove an unexamined premise?

It is not just the “other side” that populates Nutsville or Crazy Town.

We want to be someplace else. We love where we were and where we think we should be.  What could possibly go wrong with that quest?  The solution?  Put down the hammer and check for blue-print errors?  What exactly are we trying to engineer: us or them guideposts or inclusion?  If you don’t want to belong to one group or the other, figure out if inclusion requires one to party with everyone else or if inclusion means we can all have the opportunity to thrive.

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