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Friday, September 23, 2011

Excluding the Riffraff

If you don’t measure up to my standards, I will have nothing to do with you.  Such a statement represents a unified approach to life.  It is based on the assumption that such exclusion is possible.  Exclusion in this view has no serious repercussions or very few of them.  The excluder feels insulated and isolated from any ill effects of exclusion.  The only person exclusion hurts, so the thinking goes, is the person excluded.  And the person who does the excluding has no ownership in that pain.  The excluded person brought it upon themselves.  The concept of exclusion is thus very neat and tidy and allows for a sense of immense self-righteousness on the part of the excluder and a profile of great rectitude.  At base of this view is the denial that people are extensively and inherently interconnected.  Hurt can be easily contained and externalized is the fundamental assumption.  That very little in history or human experience supports this view is conveniently forgotten.  The far more realistic assumption is that pain is always shared in one way or another.  Inclusion rather than exclusion turns out to be the enduring dynamic in the end.

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