Exclusive Inclusivity - A new theory of how to build a better society

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Before I begin let me say that this theory is a work in progress and I share it with the hope that others will consider it and build upon it. In the future I hope to do more research on this idea and develop it further. I realize that this is simply scratching the surface of some very complex issues which need further exploration. With that being said let me introduce you to my theory of Exclusive Inclusivity:

Exclusive is bad, inclusive is good. This has become a nearly universally acknowledged principle of the modern world. But is it true? Is inclusiveness always better than exclusiveness? I think on some level most people would agree that inclusiveness is something society should strive for. Nobody likes being left out and from a young age the human desire for acceptance and inclusion is obvious. But how does one create an inclusive society? I would argue that it is formed through various levels of exclusive relationships.

There is something very attractive about exclusivity. It provides a feeling of superiority, something you have but others don’t. Exclusive clubs, memberships, bonuses, products all allow us to feel special. Why is the newest iPhone the coolest one? Because most people don’t have it yet. Companies often market to this inherent desire to want to feel special. Yet on the flip side, one of the greatest benefits of the iPhone is that so many people have it. The iOs infrastructure allows nearly anyone to be a part of the iPhone family, from the cheaper 3g or 4 to the latest iPhone 6. Perhaps you cannot afford to be in the exclusive group with the newest sold out device, but you are still included in the world of iTunes, iCloud, and all the available apps and games. The exclusive product of the latest iPhone, eventually creates a hugely inclusive community. The formation of Facebook provides another interesting case study of how an exclusive community for only university students resulted in the formation of the world’s most inclusive website with 500,000,000+ members. I remember those early days of Facebook. I was desperate to be able to get a Facebook account. I wasn’t even sure what it did but it was an exclusive club I wanted to join. Gmail and many other highly successful products grew from a similarly exclusive “invite-only” strategy.

So how does this apply to society? I believe it can be demonstrated that the best way to form an inclusive society is to build it from exclusive units of relationship.

I am a Canadian and I know I belong here. I have never doubted my identity as a Canadian or my sense of belonging even though I have only seen a tiny fraction of this country, only know a handful of the over 30 million other Canadians and don’t know that much about our history. To be honest if someone asked me what it meant to be Canadian I wouldn’t really know what to say. But if we begin to zoom in on my life I can tell you more and more. What does it mean to live in Ontario? Again, there isn’t much to say. We don’t have mountains or oceans (and are jealous of those who do). We love cottage country and have learned to enjoy everything the four seasons has to offer. Now if we zoom right in to my home town of Elmira where I have spent most of my 26 years I have lots to say about life here. I could write a book about my life in Elmira. The people, the farms, the churches, the mennonites, swimming in ponds in summer and playing hockey on them in winter. Much of who I am is connected to this community. But we can narrow the lense even more to the exclusive community called the Paisley family. The only way to join this exclusive unit is to be born or adopted into it, it is not inclusive of anyone else. To be part of my family means that Edna and Mahlon Bauman and Harold and Rosetta Paisley are my grandparents. I know all my cousins by name and their connection to me cannot be broken. Even if they never speak to me again we are still cousins. My brothers will always be my brothers whether we like it or not. This exclusive unit will always be a part of me even if I were to leave Elmira, Ontario or Canada for good. This exclusive unit of family which provided the whole framework for much of my life to this day would not have been possible without the even more exclusive relationship of my mom and dad. Few would suggest that if they had been more “inclusive” and had a few flings through the years that my family would be better off. Their exclusive relationship with each other allowed me to feel so included in my family. The reason I am Canadian and I know I belong is because I am an Ontarioian. The reason I am an Ontarioian is because I am a part of the Elmira community. The reason I am a part of the Elmira community and belong here is because I am a Paisley. The reason I am a Paisley is my parents formed an exclusive relationship which gave birth to my exclusive membership in this family. Because I am a part of this small exclusive relationship I feel included and a part of this massive country.

Exclusive Inclusivity through all levels of relationship

(1 being the most exclusive and 8 being the most inclusive)

1.) Individual

2.) Couple

3.) Family

4.) Community

5.) City

6.) Province

7.) Country

8.) World

Perhaps the needs of the few do indeed outway the needs of the many for perhaps the best way to serve the many is to wholeheartedly devote oneself to the few within one's own exclusive relationship units.

This exclusive community need not only come from biological family for perhaps one doesn’t know their own family. But I believe the principle still applies that if an individual can become a part of an exclusive relationship unit then they will be the best prepared to live a life which enhances their community and country by making it more inclusive. I have not researched it enough to say with any certainty but I have noticed that more often than not when I read the biographies of great men and women they came out of a strong family unit (exclusive), a friend/peer group of other successful people (exclusive), or were lead through a mentoring relationship (exclusive).

I believe that with further study this principle of exclusive inclusivity could reveal a lot about what it takes to build healthy, inclusive human societies.