Have you ever signup for a local multicultural event and then didn’t go? Have you been meaning, for the longest time, to create a cultural group so your kids can participate and never get around to it? As moms raising global citizens we all have been there: between our commitment to lead a more inclusive life and the demands of our daily routine as mothers that keep us on a very predictable schedule.
What happens is that we stay in our comfort zone: the moms of our kids’ friends, our families, and a close friend we have probably known for a long time. If we look around, everyone looks a lot like and/or shares our cultural background. We know we love people and lead our lives showing respect and kindness to others: holding doors, greeting people, smiling and showing empathy when needed. But, why is it that our circle doesn’t reflect our values and desire for diversity and inclusion?
I’m not trying to make you feel guilty as I struggle with this same thing, juggling our many commitments while trying to improve ourselves and the communities we live in. Sometimes it seems to achieve it all is impossible. Honestly, to live a more inclusive life can be challenging if we’ve been inside our current circle for a long time and can’t seem to find the time or even the people! to diversify our surroundings.
Doing the work I do, has allowed me to give a lot of thought to this matter. How can moms live a more inclusive life as a way to make their kids’ lives more diverse and inclusive. What’s the secret formula that will allow a mom to build a more inclusive life without adding more items to her to do list? As with many of the things we achieve in our lives, it all starts with the mindset, and I don’t mean having the desire to hold diverse values, what I mean is with changing how we view the activities we engage in on a regular basis.
Once you are willing to change your perspective and the ways you do things, the possibilities for leading a more inclusive life open within your own life and community. It is a matter of questioning what we do and being open to getting to know new people and experience new ways of doing things. To get you started, here are 5 ways you can live a more inclusive life without having to add a new task to your to-do list.
3 Ways To Live A More Inclusive Life
Diversify at your kids’ school.Instead of just hanging around with that same mom you already know, one that probably looks like you, reach out to others who are different from you. Be intentional and at the next school function, invite her child to a playdate and make sure to tell the mom to tag along, so you can get to know each other. Also, if you host your kid’s birthday party, make a point in inviting a diverse group of kids.
-Overcoming hurdles: In order for you to be successful in being more inclusive with people at your children school, you might have to overcome some hurdles. Maybe the first (or a few) of the moms you reach out to don’t show interest. You have to be intentional and persistent if you want to diversify your circle.
Your place of worship. For many, the place they choose to worship every week is very important and it is not easy to change it. However, if you think about those who share your religious views and values as your brothers and sisters, making the decision to worship with those who share your faith but are culturally different from you can be a very rewarding experience.
-Overcoming hurdles: Some argue that a cultural difference in the worship style might make service ‘boring’ for some visiting a church that is of a different culture. However, it can provide an opportunity for helping that group diversify their practices and also opening yourself to a different way of celebrating your religious beliefs. Think about it as a way of learning about your fellow believers and teaching them about you.
In your volunteering efforts. We usually want to give back and volunteer in those communities that are near and dear to our hearts, to give back to the people who made us in one way or another. However, volunteering gives us the chance of living a more inclusive life while still giving back to those who need it the most. Volunteering with inclusiveness in mind will expand your life in ways you probably would not anticipate, and provides many teaching moments for your kids.
-Overcoming hurdles: As a busy mom, volunteering often has specific scheduling and it might not be so easy to choose another activity because it might not work well with your busy schedule. You don’t have to make a change right away, you can research and plan months in advance to do this and eventually, the new volunteering can align with your schedule.
The main thing to remember in the process of leading a more inclusive life is that there are many ways to do this. Make sure you choose causes and activities that bring you to people who are different from you, not only culturally, due to their gender, ability, sexual orientation or any other characteristic that makes them different from you. We live in a very diverse and multicultural society, taking advantage of is within our reach.
What do you do to lead a more inclusive life?Let's embrace diversity and create social change! © Dania Santana ~ Embracing Diversity
Multiculturalism, Diversity & Inclusion Expert | Author | Speaker