Acceptance: The True Measure of Inclusion

The gift of acceptance; Removing the Stumbling Block

Acceptance. 

The action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.

It's what we all want, isn't it? 

No One is Perfect


One of the things I find most compelling about Judaism is the way in which we read Torah. Not just the pomp & circumstance of ritual surrounding it, although that is definitely awesome; but rather, the fact that we read the same words over and over, year in and year out. Each and every time we read a portion we can learn something new, glean some insight that we didn't catch before. 

We are different each and every time we encounter Torah; Removing the Stumbling Block

Why, you might wonder, could that be if the words never change? It is because we change. We are different each and every time we encounter Torah, and we bring our unique selves and our personal perspectives to the stories and messages in our ancient text. When successful, we merge the two to find wisdom and guidance for our modern lives.

Nevertheless, there are those portions that some try to avoid. They're the ones our kids hope they won’t draw for their b'nei mitzvah. Yes, of course, we know there is no “bad” parsha. But nonetheless, when we reach tazria-m’tzora, we find a parsha that speaks about ritual uncleanliness, skin disease and other such maladies. Woo hoo!

Attention Deficits and Gender - Continuing to Make Sense of Behavior


ADD Checklist for Girls; Removing the Stumbling Block

 

When I first came across this image illustrating attention deficit symptoms in girls, I immediately found myself thinking more about stereotypes than disabilities. It’s what led me to write: Making Sense of Behavior: Girls, Boys, Attention Deficits and Stereotypes. And yet, I still find myself far more concerned with the way that adults tolerate (or don’t tolerate!) such behaviors than about the differences themselves.

 

 

 

So when I discovered the counterpart to the original image, I went a little deeper.

 

Be the Change, Be Inclusive



Serenity Prayer - Removing the Stumbling Block

So much in our world is out of our control.

When we discuss the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, there are two directions we might go. One would be to focus on organizational change; the other, personal change. Both have value, both have their place.

Too often, organizations become overwhelmed by the scope of change, forgetting that it is a process. The task may seem insurmountable and so they won’t start, they won’t try. But you just have to start somewhere. 

And we must work hard to ensure that those of us acting as organizational change agents do the hard work of personal reflection. There is no room for hypocrisy. You can’t advocate for disability inclusion and then exclude a child with a disability from your daughter’s birthday party. You can’t be an advocate for inclusion and then rationalize parking in a handicapped spot.
Ghandi teaches us to “be the change we want to see in the world.” You can do it. You can practice what you preach. You must be inclusive as you work with those around you to do the same.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr 

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