SOLC22, day 3: thorny thoughts

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.

6 thoughts on “SOLC22, day 3: thorny thoughts

  1. I like how you starting your writing on a personal note and then expanded globally. So much food for thought, and yes it is thorny.
    I think is what is important is pondering. If one does not ponder these concepts we become immune to the imbedded human suffering.
    Keep pondering!

  2. So many big thoughts! Inclusivity is such a noble goal, however in the day to day encouraging in the classroom, it’s hard to know where the students are just ‘birds flocking together’ or just sticking with your ‘known’. It is a conundrum.

  3. I understand what you’re saying 100%. We can’t be close, sit with, hang out with, feel comfortable with, everyone, but we can listen as much as possible. Often that opens my eyes to someone I thought could never be one of “my people.” I love the ending of this. I often think about how when we’re in a professional development session, the people there all seem like “our people” just by being in that space—even though we might discover some fundamental differences if we were to extend our knowledge of each other. But we appreciate each other in that space; that’s a start.

  4. Thanks for putting into words what I see and feel so often. And as we connect fast in an online world, I think about it even more. Let’s both keep pondering. Thorning, indeed.

  5. I LOVE your ending! It so perfectly captures the point of the entire piece–how wonderful it is to be with like-minded people, and what a challenging issue it is to figure out the balance between comfort and challenge. Thank you for your thought-provoking post!

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