Within the past few years, things like acceptance, diversity and representation have, in a way, dominated social constructions. There has been a tremendous push to acknowledge and advocate for those among us who have had their voices silenced and have been rejected for a significant length of time, and for good reasons.
While the pressure to expand our scope of knowledge in regards to self-identification has been a mostly positive movement, I’ve noticed some negatives that have developed as a result. Personally, I feel as though there is so much emphasis nowadays on recognition and acceptance that some of us have become lost and shunted in the process.
I would like to stipulate that by no means and I suggesting that the drive to expand how we identify ourselves is wrong. I would, however, like to note that consequences have formed from this drive, and I think it would be unrealistic to overlook them.
I sometimes question whether or not the socially collective effort to enable all of us to feel welcome and accepted has done the exact opposite. Some of us may be feeling marginalized because we don’t identify a certain way, and some of us may be feeling excluded from certain groups because we don’t meet specific criteria. It is said that things in excess often become problematic, and I wonder if this ideology can be applied to such an overwhelming push for inclusivity.
Kindness is free and it is something that should be practiced among us always, regardless of who we are interacting with. It isn’t something that should differ based on representation and identification, and, really, inclusivity is innate within kindness and its essence. But it is worth acknowledging that perhaps the expectation to include everyone has actually excluded and ostracized some, in which case this entire movement has potentially become a juxtaposition.