Those aren’t my people.
And then there is the converse, you are my people.
My people are those who listen, get my jokes, and share things I enjoy. Adding books, movies, recipes, restaurants, destinations, and other experiences to my repertoire of life pleasures.
And my people share my judgements. About choices others make. Of what is important, valuable, or worthy of time. My people can confirm my darker side. Validating a close door policy to things that just don’t appeal or fit in with how “we” see good.
We sit with our people.
I see this in my 4th graders. They self segregate: boys on one side of the carpet, girls on the other.
It’s human. We band together for solidarity. For strength. From an evolutionary standpoint, alone in the wild does not bode well for longevity. This desire to be accepted, taken in as one of a group, is a deep instinctual need. It is human. It is tribal.
I was thinking about this tendency as I read about the foreign students in Ukraine having difficulty getting out of the county. And about the ready acceptance of refugees who look like the natives. Again, human. Understandable. But at the same time, disturbing.
Last week, I saw a friend (one of my people) and she told me about how it was difficult for her growing up in a predominately white community. I had felt different as well for different reasons. It seems like in response to being an outsider, we found our groups. Our people. And made it a practice to stay in our spaces. All understandable and justifiable.
But when do we recognize the damage this creates? When do we take the chance and cross over to the side of difference and potential danger? When and if we have the power, do we let in those who are different? Those people?
You all are my people, so we can agree, these are thorny questions.