I’ve been meaning to write about inclusion for the past couple of weeks, but during that time, I’ve learned a few different things:
1). It’s very common for people to voice and believe that their opinions can be facts. And it seems like there are extremely convicted individuals on both sides of an issue that are ready to voice their opinion to everyone, whether “everyone” is interested in listening to that topic or not. I just need an audience. I don’t need them to listen, I just need them to know I’m saying something important to me.
2). I’ve learned that opportunity and circumstance may be more valuable than actual talent. After watching the Olympics, it’s incredible to think that there is someone in this world just like you that may possess the exact same (or, in case of the Olympics, even greater) physical and mental capabilities that you have, but their life will not be the same as yours simply because they live in a different location than you. I’m not saying that the individuals that win don’t have talent. But to think that every day, someone just like you wakes up with the same set of skills and talent that you may have, and their mental and physical capabilities can only get them so far purely because of the place that they reside or were born and the resources they have access to. The Olympics are awesome because you get to see just how incredibly talented people are, but the truly eye-opening takeaway is all of the adversity that these athletes deal with on a regular basis, and how little I know about those adversities. It’s crazy to think that boredom and realized ignorance may be an infliction in our country solely because we have nothing else to worry about.
3). It’s common for someone to tell me what I believe or don’t believe after something I do/say or don’t do/say. I’ve learned that I’m complicit (“involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing”) because I’m silent and/or inactive on issues. If I do nothing about an injustice, that means I’m contributing to that injustice. My lack of perceived action is somehow an indication of support against a cause. At times, it seems like I’m being judged because my action or voice doesn’t reflect the same intensity as the individual judging me. If I’m not doing what they’re doing at the level in which they are doing it, that cause is not as important to me. And maybe that’s a true statement? I would think that there has to be some middle ground here where it’s not “do as I do or you’re with them.” I can see how words can only get so far, but not doing the same type of action doesn’t mean that I’m completely against you.
Imagine how many things this can be applied to, and just how much actions you would need to take on everything. The hard part is that an injustice could be a subjective opinion. Regardless, I don’t really see how convicted someone is if they are guilted into doing something rather than following through on feeling of desire that leads them to take action.
I think this serves as a double-edged sword. What I mean is that I think there are people out there looking to hitch their agenda-trailer to a cause. This is where things get complex, because it could seem like someone shares the same beliefs within a cause, but you later find out the your desired outcome does not match theirs. This is why a clear goal or objective is so critical for any idea or movement. If there is no clearly outlined boundaries and achievable finish line, then there is room for interpretation to what the cause is actually trying to achieve and how to achieve it. The hard part is when that individual’s actions break into the public spotlight, because those instances somehow become a memorable part of your idea. For example:
Person A: I really don’t like the way that current avocados growing practices impacts the environment.
Person B: Yes! I totally agree! That’s what Avocado Advocates is all about! Ensuring there is improvement through protest.
Person A: Absolutely! I’m part of Avocado Advocates! In fact, our planet may even be better if we didn’t have avocados at all.
Person B: I’m not sure about that. We might just have to look at how things are…
Person A: In fact, the people who grow avocados should be punished.
Person B: Hold on…what kind of punishment are we…
Person A: All avocado growers should be taught a lesson.
Person B: Whoa…dude…take it easy…where are you going with this…Avocado Advocates just looking for a better way to raise avocados.
Person A: So am I, and as someone who is a part of Avocado Advocates, I’m on your side!
Person B: But…are we?
I realized that a good portion of groups with large numbers and ideals that are up for interpretation likely have these contingencies that claim to be part of the group but a majority of the group would not support their actions. For every contingent that says, “that’s what they deserve,” there is a portion under that same umbrella belief that says, “that’s not who we are.” Whether it’s law enforcement, protest groups, religious groups or political groups. Each of these groups have ideals, and each of these will have supporters on a sliding scale of dedication and interpretation of those ideals. And each end the spectrum will tell the other, “you are not one of us.”
I’m pretty sure I just said the same thing over and over in different ways, but this has been sitting in draft for longer than it should have.
Thanks for reading.
– Avocado Believer