Inclusion. The word struck me one day. What does it mean?
Sometimes we find the answers to the most abstract-idealistic questions in the most mundane situations. This nugget of wisdom is something that I stumbled upon when a friend of mine, (Let us just hide him behind the name “David” haha) was bantering away at the world. See, to understand what I am saying, you have to get to know David. He is this fantastic dude who kinda looks like one of the tough guys in comic books. His idea of greeting the people whom he values the most is to call them names like (Listen here you Old Goat! Old Prune!) and other weirdly creative ways of putting together adjectives and nouns. Also, his “Hello” is a market list of mean yet funny, terrible but hilarious – sounding threats that will haunt your dreams. Exhibit A: He says that his dream is to ride a Harley-Davidson Big Bike, drive to the horizon…to find me and run me over like a steam-roller would and make it look like an accident (sounds like a dream right?). Some days he wants to chop me like chopped liver and make me walk the plank and send me to Davey Jones locker and let Jaws eat me (how can I even walk the plank if I’m minced already right?). There are days when he wants to put me in a box, ship me to the North Pole, hangout with the Polar Bears wearing only my Speedos. Mostly, he tries to send me to the moon! So there, you now have a taste of how Dave shows his affection.
So one day, Dave was trying “Pick on me” because apparently, I broke his heart into a million pieces and he lovingly told me that he will put me in the dumpster. ”I will put you in the dumpster!” this is how he will say it, sounding like a man on a mission. This happens as “rarely” as the sun rises in the East. This is like his “Good morning Jasper, how is it going? Let’s have a great day ok?” translated in words that we typically speak. See, for my good friend, him sending you to the dumpster is his “welcome to the world”. The catch is that you can only be sent to the dumpster if you #1 allow him to, #2 if he knows that you would not mind, (joking around with him) and #3 he feels comfortable with you. This is almost synonymous to #1 “having your permission”, #2 “him respecting you”, and #3 “him trusting and accepting you”. In the light of everything happening in the world, (all the hate and violence plaguing our newsfeeds, don’t we all need a little bit of Dave’s brand of dumpster treatment?
I jokingly asked him then, ”So Dave, who else will you put in the dumpster?” He then blurted out a list without second thoughts –I will put Doug Tennant there, Gordon and his guitar, Sandra and Heidi from Mcdonald’s, May, Tara, Debbie, Marvin, Little Guy Ed, Caite, Ed, Adel and George, Paulina, Denise, Sunny, Sachin and Ryan, Nolda – Pete’s sister, Lynne and Calgary, Jo-Ann and Teresa, Michelle, Denene, Dan and his tickets and the list goes on (it was like a roster of everyone we know but really, these are the names that Dave usually talk about in the truck while we drive around).
It then dawned on me; Dave was indirectly, wittingly, in his own unique way, talking about inclusion. This is what inclusion is. It is one of those “Aha” moments in my life. I asked David, are you putting everyone in the dumpster? He said, “Yup, everyone”. I could not speak of what Dave’s vision of what that sweet-old place called the “dumpster” looks like but I guess in his eyes, it is where everyone he knows can be together and really be together. No one is exempted. You can feel in his gentle blue eyes that he does not care where you came from, how you look like or whatever our world has set as a standard prerequisite to be welcomed in a community is. He just needs a dash of “acceptance, respect and trust” for you to be in his guest list.
Inclusion [in-kloo-zhuh n]
- the act of including.
- the state of being included
- putting everyone in the dumpster with no exemptions. Everyone is invited. It does not matter whether you are a member of the crew or the Executive Director or kitchen staff or a McDonald’s server, everyone will be thrown in the party we call “dumpster”.
The article seems to be oddly written and Dave seemed to be described in non-typical ways but if you get to know the guy, if you come across his path or if he has touched your life in one way or another, you will understand why I speak of him like this.
With his “underhanded sneakiness” he has taught me again a valuable message about life.
By Jasper Macabulos, Semiahmoo House Society
Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.