Frankly, I do most of the talking when it comes to Izrina and I. She is essentially a wallflower at munches and such, but from time to time she does speak up in public. In private with me, she is a little more talkative. There are times I will be elucidating on some subject and she will interject some valuable insight into the somewhat stilted conversation. I believe in talking with someone, not to someone, though doing this with Izrina is a challenge I am working on still. Her slave journal was not very illuminating.
I can’t recall now what lead to this subject. I know that I have been pondering recently the issues between celebrating diversity and the need for inclusion. As a white person, I am sensitive to the fact that I can’t form a group for white people without it being labeled a white supremacy group. I would love it if there was a check box for my race: Euro-American. The truth is, if current immigration and birth rates continue, Euro-Americans will be the minority eventually. What happens then?
Will Euro-Americans be subject to legal discrimination? Oh wait.. we are. For the past few decades it has been perfectly legal to hire a person who had lower entrance scores for a job, simply because of the need to fill quotas. There must come a time when ALL discrimination is eliminated. There is no place in government for justice which is not blind. If it were up to me, check boxes for race would be eliminated.
And that brings me back to the question of celebrating diversity vs the need for inclusion. Yes it makes sense to celebrate our heritage, even if your ancestry is from Europe. I dislike groups and clubs that are exclusive. For example, all male clubs, all female groups, and yes.. TNG which is age based. Its fine to form a group that speaks to a particular perspective and experience, such as TNG. But such groups need to be as much about supporting that particular segment of our population, as it is about helping others to understand that view.
This is one of the many reasons I am very much in favor of BDSM groups such as MAsT, as long as they are open to anyone. These need to be open to people who need to be “be among their own kind” AND open to those who would like to better understand the segment of our population that this group represents.
And that brings me to the discussion with Izrina that I think you might find interesting: Intellectual vs emotional understanding. In some cultures, older people are respected for their “wisdom”. Being an older person myself, I can tell you not all persons of age have any better a handle on intelligence. We are particularly prone to making the same mistakes we made in youth. But we have one advantage. We have an opportunity for wisdom.
Wisdom is a combination of intelligence and knowledge. Anyone can collect knowledge. Intelligence seems to be something we are born with.. There are naturally bright people with lightening fast thought. I have seen very intelligent people who have not been exposed to knowledge..yet. And I have seen very knowledgeable people who are not very intelligent at all. Ah.. but a wise person is one who has knowledge and the intelligence to apply that knowledge in meaningful ways.
As I was speaking with Izrina, I mentioned that some people are going to have an intellectual understanding of a problem and some people will have an emotional understanding of a problem. What does that mean?
It means that until we have experience, we can only understand a problem from an intellectual perspective. A young lover may write a song or poem regarding the pain of heartbreak, but they only understand it intellectually. Until they experience the pain of a heartbreak they only understand it from the experiences of others. They intellectually understand it.
From a BDSM perspective, subspace is another great example. You can understand it intellectually, but it must be experienced to understand it emotionally.
To undergo an experience first hand is to know it emotionally. Nor is all emotional understanding the same. If I take an extreme example, I can say that the prisoners who survived the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, had one experience while the guards had another. Each however has an emotional understanding of that experience that we who did not live it can only understand intellectually. THIS is why diversity requires inclusion.
To help bridge the gap between intellectual understanding and emotional, we need inclusion. It is important to celebrate diversity but it is equally important to stress inclusion because this is exactly what raises the overall wisdom of a society.
Groups which do not seek to include, and which seek to actively exclude are evil. They perpetuate the worst that a society can offer.
Growing up it was a good thing to be color blind. It meant you had preconceived prejudice. There are those who say now that to be color blind is bad. What they mean is, you cannot completely be part or our group – you must see color before you can even begin to have an intellectual understanding of my groups emotional understanding of our experience. – In short, you can never completely understand us. That may be true, but it is better to say that you are welcome to be part of your group, than to say.. you can never be part of our group.
Some groups may actually be superior in certain areas of human endeavor. To deny this is to perpetuate a lie. Women as a group have skills that are naturally better than men’s. Men have certain skills that are naturally better than women. Youth is faster and their reflexes and hearing better. Doubt me? Try to beat a 15 year old at your best video game.
These are facts. We must not shy away from talking about our differences. This will lead to some conflict. A knee jerk reaction to sudo-science. And some science will in fact be false. Dishonest people stilt facts to suit their agenda. Our goal must be the pursuit of knowledge without prejudice. We do this by not promoting superiority.. but by acknowledging honestly our strengths and weakness.
Age does have potential for greater wisdom. With greater experience we have more content on which to base an emotional understanding. With intelligence, applied to an intellectual and emotional based understanding, age does have its value.
We absolutely should celebrate diversity. We should be cognizant to judge one on one relations in the context of what you learn about that person, not on what group they belong to. We should avoid “we and them” language. We should all seek to participate when possible, in groups to promote inclusion. It is in this that we become better. Society as a whole becomes better, when the individuals seek to better themselves, and when we judge others in a one on one context, not as “us and them”.
Carpe Diem my friends… go make a better world, by starting with yourself!