It’s not about inclusion, really

Today’s philosophical question is about exclusion and why we human beings are so big on it. This is brought about by the recent search I’ve been doing for local writers’ groups, many of which are closed and aggressively cliquish.

Now, I’m not saying I don’t understand the desire to have some control over which people we’re surrounded by. I mean that’s just natural. Sensible. Safe. But this very quickly becomes a matter of status — assigning value to the groups to which we belong, and thereby confirming our own value. From there it’s no longer about inclusion — no longer about whom we are spending our time with — but instead the real issue becomes exclusion. In our minds we become more cool, smart, powerful, rich, talented, special, not because of the company we keep, but because of that heady option to turn others away.

This is a terrible thing we do to each other. I know it’s cliché and all, but it’s really not necessary to tear others down in order to make ourselves feel better. So why do we do it?

And I promise, this is not just me being bitter that the group I want to join won’t let me in. Not just.