Inclusion is Innate, Exclusion is a Choice

I have been thinking a lot about inclusion, why some people seem to ‘fit in’ better than others, why we are so scared in the workplace of some people ‘fitting out’ i.e challenging the status quo! the polarisation of ideas and viewpoints and more.

When we are born, we are all innately included, it is only as we grow up and we take on stories, of others and build our own, that we start to see ourselves as separate from one another.

Are you including yourself?

My first reflection is am I and are you getting in your own way?  Do you include yourself fully i.e. fears, hopes, dreams, etc or are you showing up as only part of you?

I was watching a really insightful documentary called Down to Earth and one of the quotes from one of the travellers was “Our only obstacle is our own worry & fear.”

That really resonates with me, does it with you?

Embracing difference

Many people state that we are more similar than we are different as human beings and whilst that is true in my opinion, we are different, but we are not separate and this, I feel, is where we get confused at times. We have different thoughts, we look different to each other, we have different visions, dreams and hopes, however, we all individually live these different human experiences whilst all being connected to one another as the singular human race that we are.

This has become so crystal clear to me as I have sought to intentionally diversify my network and my friends to include more black men, for example, a different set of humans that I know far too few of to allow me to fully embrace and enjoy my own human experience more fully whilst I hope adding to theirs also.

I have had incredible experiences recently, being the only white panellist on Venandah Madanhi’s Talk About’s celebration of black inventors and history shortly after the murder of George Floyd.

Hosting so far four hue-man conversations of which the first three (2 from me and 1 from Mike) can all be found on the Value through Vulnerability podcast boosted by HumansFirst (ep 117, 119 and 122) and sponsored by Aequip, in collaboration with HumansFirst founder Mike Vacanti, has given me so much joy, meaning, and hope.

This week I was grateful to be asked to be the speaker at Linda Muyabo’s Christian Millionaire book club event on the topic of wealth where I shared my view on wealth being more holistic than just about money.  Again I was the only white male, with one other white female amongst a group of 15 amazing different yet connected humans.

I have never felt so welcomed, comfortable nor hopeful following these experiences, all new experiences that I would not necessarily have experienced had it have not been for the sharp awakening following George Floyd’s murder.

Conscious exclusion

I believe that exclusion of other human beings is a choice, and sometimes it is valid.  Who wants to include a troll or a bully in our world, yet we are still connected to that troll or bully. Of course, the world is also suffering from widespread unconscious exclusion but even so, I feel that is a choice, even when unknowingly excluding.

To consciously exclude does not and should not mean to vilify, but it does mean to set boundaries.

I am not great at setting boundaries and continue to work on this, however in summary I assert, inclusion is innate, but exclusion is a choice.

I wonder what you think? …………………


Garry Turner
Garry Turner
Combining a powerful mix of international sales and culture expertise, Garry is facilitating individual and team transformations as an interpersonal catalyst. With over 20 years of sales and relationship building experience and qualified in organisational design and development, learning & development and as a chartered member of the CIPD, he focuses on bringing intentional human-centred working to all walks of life, and has the evidence to validate this necessary paradigm shift. Whether through connection-centred workshops, keynote talks, live events or through Thinking Partnerships, Garry is driven by his two non-negotiable core values of growth and connection.

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  1. I love how you always stretch yourself to learn more, understand more and be more of who you are Garry. It is great that you are trying everything to be part of more diversified groups. All of us who are awakening to one challenge over another during these times, are at a place to understand more of each other. Thank you for ALL you do. You are touching so many lives.

    I always love that we are so different. How boring we would be if we all look the same, want the same, feel the same. I don’t think our species would still exist if that was the case, The beauty is in those differences I believe that with all my heart. I also believe we are 100% connected too. We are so similar in our basic need for love and to be understood. I love how we are created this way. We just need our consciousness level to get to a better place and I think we are moving in the right direction for that. We just need more years, may be decades to get there. But we will.

  2. I understand how people historically chose an “us vs them” to try to manage what was (or felt like) a life-or-death scarcity of resources. I think this paradigm underlies much we know as bias, discrimination, etc.

    When we think that the pie only has X slices, if I lose a slice to somebody else, that’s scary. It’s less scary if that somebody else is in my tribe (however that’s defined), and we see that play out, where somebody’s bias shifts radically the moment that a close friend of family member is revealed as being in a category that was previously seen as “THEM”. Perfect example is how Dick Cheney’s views on LGBTQ rights shifted when he had a daughter who came out as a lesbian. (and we see this happen time, and time, and time, and time again).

    I think you draw a useful connection there with excluding nasties, while recognizing that we’re still connected. I think this is why shunning as a practice (however that plays out) is supremely UNhelpful in resolving the root cause of whatever makes them “Bad Guys”. To me, finding those opportunities to get at the root cause offer far more hope and possibility than just shoving all the trolls/etc. onto an island somewhere and hoping they don’t band together to light the world on fire.

    I believe we can skip the step of waiting for organic wake-up calls that force us to look past our instinctive “THEM!” danger signals by moving from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance. And that doesn’t mean that we can magically will there to be enough (whatever) in the world, but that we believe that together we’re more likely to figure out how to make a world where there’s enough for all, and probably quite a bit left over.