Reflections

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  1. M
    Mike

    Pay attention in the Christian gospels to the way Jesus interacted with almost every individual He met. He almost always met people right where they were, without judging them on where He thought they should be. (I imagine similar examples might be found in other faith traditions.)

    3 years ago
  2. KC

    I can set an intention to be more open to people who I perceive or experience as different, and to be curious about the gifts they bring.

    Perhaps the first step is awareness – being aware when I unconsciously shut others out and / or judge, and consciously choosing curiosity. Most days offer at least a few opportunities. Observing a scene outside the window now, voila – an invitation.

    Thank you for this challenging question, and the thoughtful reflections 🙂

    3 years ago
  3. Maureen

    I think if I am comfortable with myself, flaws and all, I would be able to encounter anyone with friendliness with a certain regard for safety.

    3 years ago
  4. Malag

    Exposing to new activities and situations can allow for some diversity. Maybe when Covid is less a threat. On the other side of that, though, I am more on the introverted end of the scale so find there’s a limit to what us comfortable in terms of who is in my life.

    3 years ago
  5. d
    dcdeb

    By finding commonalities, maybe similar interests.

    3 years ago
  6. TofuLove

    By acknowledging my own pain and suffering and moving towards these things from a place of kindness and gentleness in turn I feel more inclusive of others even as they are going through difficult times as I can see my own struggles in their struggles, just expressed differently. I think you have to make peace with yourself before you can have peace with others but really I don’t know.

    3 years ago
  7. Don Jones

    Not to underestimate negative relationships. There is a deep bond with those where fear, envy or hate is present. It is time to dissolve that.

    3 years ago
  8. Cathie

    I try not to exclude anyone in my life. So for me, maybe it would be how to create opportunities specifically for folks whose gifts we don’t often call on….for example, I have relatives who use beautiful language when speaking – not my gift, – maybe I could ask them to assist me with a letter or email I will write instead of struggling with how to make it say what I mean???

    I need to think of ways to create opportunities to allow folks to use their gifts.

    3 years ago
  9. Holly in Ohio

    I have been trying to include some neighbors who were until recently, homeless. I know they have anxiety issues, but I’m beginning to think they may have drug issues as well. I have been trying to be friendly, safe, and non-judgmental. We’ve had some positive interactions several months ago, but at present they seem to be hiding from the world and we noticed their children seem to be living with the grandparents again.

    In contrast I have a dear friend of many, many years, whom recently I decided I needed to let go. They are sometimes verbally aggressive and try to manipulate me with false accusations and untruths. They don’t respect healthy boundaries… not just with me but with some mutual friends…. he doesn’t seem to even understand boundaries when it conflicts with his wishes. I tried explaining it several times to him, tried to get him to stop the random verbal attacks that come about once a month… but he doesn’t, and to me it feels like getting emotionally side-swiped. He just makes excuses or argues this. Classic.

    So when this question came up, I thought of these two extremes. I believe sometimes exclusion is necessary. Toxic relationships do happen, and it doesn’t help them our ourselves to continue them. Exclusion by type… no. I’m not fooled by the illusions that come with race, dress, language, religion, poverty… any of that. You never know what comes in a package.

    3 years ago
  10. d
    db82258

    Being present and open 💝

    3 years ago
  11. Marnie Jackson

    I try so hard to be inclusive of everyone and to recognize that everyone brings gifts. There are people though whom I don’t feel comfortable and I am sure that discomfort affects how I deal with the person and how I listen to their thoughts and ideas. Making a conscious effort to get to know people that I am not comfortable with – would be a good first step to help me better understand their gifts.

    3 years ago
  12. Katrina

    This question runs the gambit of so many different social and personal situations that it makes it difficult for me to respond. Who would I invite into my home? Who would I sit next to at a party? Who do I gravitate to in a new work or volunteer situation? And it would be awkward to go out and recruit people into a social or personal situation just so I could experience the inclusivity of gifts of diversity. That said, I do my best to receive the gifts of inclusivity and diversity wherever they arise – as I deliver Meals on Wheels, in an exercise class, while shopping or dining in public, and in making new friends. I think most of us naturally gravitate to those most like us, those with whom we think we will find a hospitable welcome, until we are comfortable enough to have a grounding to step out in faith when we can’t see the whole staircase. My husband and I do make sure our family knows they can bring any of their friends to our home regardless of anything – except drugs, weapons or violence.

    3 years ago
  13. K
    Kerry

    I guess by keeping an open mind and an open heart. Not getting caught up in gossip and having pre conceived notions of others. I am going to my son’s University this weekend. I am going to make a conscious effort to talk to everyone. Even those who I wouldn’t normally gravitate to.

    3 years ago
  14. f
    foreversaranya

    My first thought was how I exclude my family from my life. This question serves as a reminder that I can do little things to rebuild that connection with them – eating meals, small conversations about our day, etc.

    3 years ago
  15. Michele

    Smile at everyone:)

    3 years ago
  16. O.Christina

    With widening perspective, being open to perceive the differences as a gift. As in former times, I often felt excluded, I suppose that in fact I induced this feeling myself through my own narrowing view and behavior, so looking through the other one´s eyes helped to be inclusive; to talk about things and to understand helped, to be willing to take the other as he or she is, and to meet each one with gratitude for their being here with me, contributing to life like I do also, and taking possible difficulties less personal helped to open again to enjoy being there together.

    3 years ago
  17. Antoinette

    I am doing some work now at an activity center where I would have normally excluded myself from.
    I see how we are all more similar than we are different. It doesn’t matter what name or label you put on anything. We are all the leaves of one tree. 🌳

    3 years ago
  18. Maurice Frank

    I need to think about this more. It’s not usually top of mind. Good question. I do tend to be around people mostly similar to me.

    3 years ago
    1. Maurice Frank

      I remember now: I organize a meetup group that has always met during the day, and sometimes in late afternoon. This attracts mostly retired people like myself. A new member recently asked if we ever meet on weekends because he works days. I need to extend our group to weekend events to include more full time working people. I’m grateful for this gentle push forward.

      3 years ago
  19. L
    Lee Anne

    This question is at the core of any ill-being I may have. I grew up in Manhattan surrounded by “different” people. I excluded no one and judged as little as possible. My close friends were kindred spirits and those who were not I still embraced. When one goes into AA, it becomes a ‘right-sizing’ of who one is. Humility, non-judgment becomes an ever-growing part of our DNA. When I moved to upstate New York, challenges to my way of being have been, and are, present every day. People hate, make their hate towards me known, gossip, and are angry. I hardly know some of these people. Others I thought were friends. I am 78-years old and have never encountered such darkness in people. It has stunned me into almost complete isolation. While I cannot include this toxicity in my life, I CAN pray for them. That is all I am capable of doing. And, though they are not included in my daily life, there is no one to whom I would not run and help. This is a difficult question. Perhaps I’ve taken it too personally, for I live with it daily.

    3 years ago
    1. M
      MemoPC

      The spiritual awakening/growth that can occur working any 12 step program fosters humility and non judgment. One of the benefits of living any form of recovery is recognizing the inherent value in all life.
      Connection rather than isolation keeps our spirit grateful. Connection with nature, God, family, those in need are all ways that help me grow gratefulness. Humility keep me “right sized” and open to others. Lack of understanding, looking at others through my own perceptions hinders inclusiveness and limits joy. You are on a good path.

      3 years ago
      1. L
        Lee Anne

        💓

        3 years ago
  20. Kevin

    At this point in my life, the best that I can do is keep the inherent challenge embedded in this question in my head and my heart. I think about this very thing frequently, because though I was raised in the inner city, I now live in suburbia which is ridiculously white and middle class. The only real diversity in my immediate area are the differences we see in political lawn signs and the color of houses. Heck, even the cars and trucks on the roads around town are getting whiter and whiter.

    But I will say this; I don’t normally or intentionally exclude anyone based on perceived differences. In fact, I do have a number of acquaintances whom I do call my friends who are different from me in every way, which I cherish. I just wish there were more, frankly.

    3 years ago
  21. sunnypatti48317

    I am a people person and I try not to exclude anyone. I love and appreciate our human uniqueness. One of my favorite lyrics says, “All the freaky people make the beauty of the world,” and I stand by that! Happy Sunday, friends!

    3 years ago
  22. Mary Pat

    I have not excluded people that are different from me. I embrace them because I enjoy differences in people. They do bring gifts…things I had not thought of, new ideas, all sorts of things.

    3 years ago
  23. Christine

    This question gave me a sad feeling. I can not say why, or where this feeling comes from. So, no answer from me today.
    I wish you all a happy sunday 💞🤗

    3 years ago
    1. Christine

      I come back to reflect on my own message. I Just did’nt want to think about me excluding another person. Not this sunny sunday. 😔

      3 years ago

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