A Template for Compassionate Inclusion

Posted on November 3, 2021 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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Diversity is reality. Inclusion is the goal. And tolerance is the cheap imitation of both.

– Kristen Donnelly

In this compelling TED talk by Kristen Donnelly, she suggests that tolerance thrives in a society where we still believe in the myth of separate but equal, and therefore cannot see the world through lenses other than our own. Tolerance flattens diversity, it erases it. Whereas inclusion activates it and enables us to interact with each other on a human level.

Listening to Kristen share her vision for inclusion, I realized that it requires all three components of the Compassion Cycle: Openness, Resourcefulness, and Persistence.

A Template for Compassionate Inclusion

Openness: Create a safe place that values the human being

  • Recognize that every human being carries diversity and difference within them.
  • Recognize that, “We are all messy, unfinished beings brimming with both potentials and traumas.”
  • Ensure that everyone can bring their full selves to every conversation.

Resourcefulness: Understand what’s going on

  • Get curious, ask questions, listen, and ask more questions.
  • Expose ourselves to new learning, new perspectives.
  • Ensure a variety of voices and perspectives, especially when making important decisions.
  • Expose the intersections that privilege us, oppress us, and connect us.

Persistence: Walk the talk

  • Inclusion must become a daily discipline, a daily practice.
  • While equality is the “idea” that everyone should have equal opportunity, equity is the real goal.
  • Equity means recognizing and changing the roots of systemic exclusion. It means using history not as something to be ashamed of, but as a guide for what needs to change in our systems.
  • Ultimately, inclusion needs to become lived truth, not just words on a page.

Move from diversity to inclusion with a Compassion Mindset. Inclusion can’t happen without compassion, and compassion includes Openness, Resourcefulness, and Persistence. Each one is necessary, but not sufficient.

Copyright, Next Element Consulting, LLC 2021

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