Diversity and inclusion have been all the rage in the past years.
Diversity is about the presence of differences within a group. Inclusion is about accepting and embracing differences in others.
When there is diversity and inclusion, there is safety and belonging. Then, a person's self-esteem and confidence grow. Their inner light shines, and their talents thrive. Yet, inclusion does not occur because of the right community or environment.
Inclusion starts with you.
You are a complex human being, with many layers to your identity; gender, age, race, nationality, religion, beliefs, talents, values, much more. Some parts are shown to the public, while others are excluded and hidden in the shadows.
A boy hides his love for painting when his family expects him to become a lawyer. A woman hides her sexual orientation because her community shames and forbids it.
Yet, if you cannot learn to embrace your shadow parts, how can you hope to create an inclusive society?
Have the courage to face your shadows. Be kind, befriend and love all your long excluded self. Only then you can start to build an inclusive society.
Inspired by Brene Browns' Braving The Wilderness