Be Inclusive. Be, Be Inclusive…

Be Inclusive. Be, Be Inclusive...Ya-sas. Buongiorno!

I’ve recently returned from Greece and Italy and can you believe that all I picked up language-wise was ‘hello’? (Well, I also picked up a few wonderful pieces of ceramics, but that’s another story.)

It was a special trip, though. For my dad’s 70th birthday, I, my parents, my brother and my two nieces spent a week together in Greece before my parents and I went on to Sicily.

I can’t believe how quickly my nieces are growing up – Kathy, the oldest, is going into ninth grade this year!

Wow, do I remember the ninth grade. Tough year.

Tough because I had switched to a new school, Woodward Academy, and joined a class full of people who had gone to school together since kindergarten and who were seemingly as tightly knit as one of the sweaters my Nana used to make.

Talk about hard to break in.

And talk about how much it meant when someone reached out and was inclusive toward me, the new kid.

Remember this cheer? Time to get out the pom poms…

Something else I remember from the ninth grade is a cheer the cheerleaders used to do at the weekly football games – “Be aggressive. Be, be aggressive”. Are you familiar with it, by chance?

Well, I’ve got a better cheer for you, and it’s one that doesn’t just apply to the new kid, but to us adults as well.

Be inclusive. Be, be inclusive…

Now, I was thinking hard on what revolutionary tips I could give you on how to be inclusive, but how do you really teach someone to be inclusive?

* Is it to remind you that, when talking to a group of friends, that you truly talk to and spread your eye contact around evenly among the group so that each person feels part of the conversation?Be Inclusive. Be, Be Inclusive...

* Is it to remind you that, when you meet someone who’s just moved to your city, that you take the initiative to invite them out and even perhaps introduce them to your group of friends?

* Is it to remind you to do as my mom often does during the holidays, which is to invite someone who may not have anywhere to go that year over to your house to celebrate with you and your family?

It may be, and there are so many other ways to be inclusive…

But I think the best thing I can do is to just try and inspire you to adopt an attitude of inclusiveness rather than inwardness as you go through life.

Imagine how you’d feel if…

As I’ve said before, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of our own lives. But here’s where empathy comes in. 

What if you were the one feeling left out of a conversation?

What if you were the one who just recently moved to a new city and were feeling a little bit lonely?

What if you were the one who didn’t have someone to spend the holidays with?

What if you were the one…(fill in the blank with any number of other scenarios)?

Honestly, take a moment and imagine yourself in any of the above situations. Probably doesn’t feel that great – but feels much better when you imagine someone reaching out and including you, right?

Be Inclusive. Be, Be Inclusive...Remember that feeling…and, as you go through life, just as you seek out opportunities to advance your career, to pursue a new interest, or something else, I hope you’ll continually seek out opportunities to be inclusive toward others… (<– Click to Tweet!)

Because, trust me, being inclusive results in rewards infinitely more satisfying than any promotion at work.

And, hey, I’d love it if you’d share with me in the comments below a time when someone went out of their way to be inclusive towards you…who knows? You just might inspire someone else to do the same!

To being inclusive,



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