Tuesday, June 17, 2008

There's room for more...

Inclusion and exclusion are concepts that I have been toying with in my head for quite some time. I have been wanting to write about it, but the thoughts were pretty hazy and not complete. I cannot claim that I have resolved it entirely. Anyways, here goes…


In the 'The Inner Ring,' C. S. Lewis talks about one seeking to be in the inner ring. Many seek to be part of the inner ring. Many create the inner ring. The inner ring is created by exclusion. In Nineteen Minutes, this kid who is part of the 'cool clan' says something to the effect of "There can't be 'us' without 'them.'" It is almost as if the inner ring is created so that 'I' can feel special. Then, the sole motivation and the reason for survival of the inner rings, it seems, is because it acts as a crutch on which our flailing, floundering, insecure ego can support itself.


When I try to understand how Jesus lived, I found Him to be a very inclusive person. There was always room for the outcast, the sinner, the goof ball, the scum at His table. I believe that this inclusion stems from His security. He was secure in His identity. He knew who He was. He didn't feel the need to protect Himself and His ego. He didn't need to have a platinum credit card, be a member of 'exclusive' clubs, wear expensive designer clothes and accessories to make Himself feel significant*. He knew who He was and He was okay with that. And this, I guess, made people comfortable too. They didn't have to have certain 'qualities' so that they can be included in His exclusive club**.


Well, let me see what the point of this post was. Well, I was just wondering how inclusive I was willing to be… And I guess the only way I can become inclusive is if I am secure in who I am.

Social inclusion is a concept that I have come across during the course of my work. I guess for social inclusion to happen, that social institution/organization needs to be secure in what it is.


* This is not to say that it is wrong to have these things. I am only questioning the motive behind having and seeking after these things.

** This is to accept that, yes, it has been made out to be exclusive clubs these days. But I believe that Jesus did not intend it to be that way.

11 comments:

--xh-- said...

i am still grasping teh concept, so frankly, u hv left me wordless to make a comment... could be helpful if u take time to do a bit more elaborate post on this inner ring concept.
Jesus knew why he was here and more importently, he knew why he is here and what is teh work he have to do...

JollyRoger said...

Lost in wonder!!!!

Bungi said...

xh - Hmmm... Perhaps i will write another post elaborating the inner ring concept. Or i will just email you sometime... Might take a while though... :)

JR - Ha ha... That is Anju's blog...

jd said...

So profound!!!

!! Oxymoron !! said...

Your insights always bowl me over!

Trinity said...

Bungi next blogger meet, lets spend some time brushing up on my understanding skills. Maybe Anju read ur blog when she was looking for a blog name! : )

SandyCarlson said...

I have the experience of people who create the us vs. them conflict because by being oppositional they have an easier time creating a sense of self. But it becomes "I am who you are not" rather than something creative and good. It holds "me" prisoner to the opposite of whomever you think "you" are.

The stories of Jesus's welcoming all manner of outcasts carries for me the message that grace and wonder are to be found in each of us without exception. Looking for it, even believing it is there, can be the greatest challenge.

Giovanna Fava said...

Bungi, Solzheneizhen talked about this concept in his book "The First Circle." He was referring to the inner circles with Stalin. The concept that I am toying with is that there is no First Circle. There is always this temptation that there is another inner circle from which we are excluded. It could be the worst temptation which causes wars.

That is why Paul said in Ephesians that we are accepted in the Beloved. Then in Colossians, he says "we are no more strangers." The religious crowd wanted to exclude the gentile believers and saw them as second class. With Christ, we are all of the same Spirit--we are all of the same family, the same clan. The great thing about Heaven will be that it will feel very much like Home--where we will all feel that we belong.

baboysai said...

It's interesting to note that being inclusive could mean that way, when at first sight it does seem that "inclusivity" means locking oneself up. hee.

But there is that "ignore this user?" option nowadays. I don't know if I should feel bad that I find it convenient.

Anyway, how did you find Haruki Murakami's Hardboiled Wonderland? :)

Trinity said...

good post

this is truly trinity not JR

Visit my new blog http://deptofzoology.blogspot.com/
and have good fun and learning.

Bungi said...

John - Thank you!

Oxymoron - Thank you too!

JR parading under Trinity's id - Ah well... What can i say? :-P

Sandy - So true. Don't we find it easier to assert ourselves by pointing out what the other doesn't have than by affirming what all of us bring to the table?

Giovanna - True. That is what i have tried to point out. We create circles and we seek to be part of circles. Where as we are called to keep the circle open and embrace all who come.

Baboysai - I loved that book! It kinda made me sad, but was really good. Think i am going to get some more work's of Murakami. Any suggestions?

Trinity (the real one) - Thank you. And good job with your zoology classroom! I think i will love it. Always loved biology in school, but my love for humanities superseded my love for natural sciences.