What is it about exclusion? How do we perform an act of excluding? Is it an unnecessary violence? I believe it is. That definition goes too far, you say? I do not think so, and wonder further, if it is not one of the reasons the world continues to stand divided in both big and little ways.
The house I grew up in was new, designed by my folks before I came along. The rooms were spacious, decorated with stylish, high quality furniture. (I cannot believe, however, that they put in only one full bathroom. There was a “water closet” in the laundry room but that would be a definitive fail by today’s standards.) Dad drove a new car every two years. A decision to convert the garage into a large family room meant there was no garage. A carport covered the car, but for all intents and purposes, it was left “out”. Mom collected Royal Doulton figurines. There was silver in the china cabinet, and cash stashed in a lingerie drawer. What there was not, was a locked door anywhere.
In my nineteen years in that house with no garage, there was never a break-in. No matter where Dad went in his snazzy car, or what Mom did in or out of the house, no one vandalized our property. You could say the Sullivan’s were “just lucky”. I mean, you could say that but you would have to fast forward forty-four years because the same is true for me. I do not lock my doors either, and in all that time, I have not been the victim of a robbery in my house. I do lock my car and have had it broken into several times. Do you see the irony?
Okay then. You’ve loads of arguments defending the locking of doors, plus, you’re tabling tons of “what if” scenarios. I can also see you scratching your heads wondering what the hell unlocked versus locked doors has to do with exclusion. Well, I’ll do my best to explain.
Exclusion comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be overt or so subtle as to be barely noticed. The act of locking something up is exclusionary. It is intended to be. In some cases, it is wise. I imagine my grandfather locked up certain chemicals used for tinctures and medicines, for example. I mean, folks are not always of sound mind when in the throes and an illness and might do things like overdose if they had easy access to drugs. So, yeah, I get that. But what of thoughts? Better yet, what about knowledge? Who decides what information someone should have, or not?
Seems we exclude others in all kinds of ways. But, to get back to my opening comment of it being an unnecessary violence, it still holds true in my mind. The trauma of exclusion can haunt anyone who has been cut out, or cut off. I’m sure I’ve read psychological damage is profound when a tribe member is ostracised. Perhaps compassion demands we revisit who we might be excluding and ask why? Is it to protect ourselves, and if so, what are we afraid of? Is it a real threat, or a perceived one?
I think those are great questions and worth further consideration, but I feel, at this point, the topic requires some research and more concentration than I’m able to supply, plus this blog isn’t necessarily meant for academic discourse. It is, however, as the redo intended, supposed to assist in helping me get and stay real. Thinking about ways I might exclude others, and the repercussions of that action, is what I was doing today. What I realised is that, for the most part, almost without exception, every time I exclude someone, it is because of some level of fear, misunderstanding, or resistance. Probably best I do what I can to include, yes? Would be kinder, for sure.
So, I wish tonight for fewer locks. Protecting from is equal to defending against, mostly. Either action initiates cause and effect. The outcome is not necessarily desired. Locks get bigger, fences higher, dogs more vicious and hearts get broken. Let’s say we start to trust inclusion is better, healthier, kinder, and more loving and leave it at that.