Ironically, As Painful As It Can Be…

Ironically, as painful as it can be for those excluded, the separation process is for the very purpose of bringing people closer. It reinforces the group identity, and it makes membership more valuable. Separation lets us see who is safe to bring closer (closer is good), and not only in a community sense. And we willingly and eagerly risk exclusion for the sake of the greater goal – safe inclusion in a close-knit affinity group that creates a place for us in the world. We long for closeness. We crave it. We’ll sometimes literally die to get it. And we regularly risk exclusion, for the chance to be included.

We gladly submit to the rigors of applications and interviews, of screenings and potential disqualification to gain inclusion in a company, a team, a club. If we are culled from the herd, that just means the group is all the more intact. We’ll take the hit for the greater good. And when others don’t go through the same process to gain access to membership – for example, when refugees show up and we’re commanded to treat them as equals, based on what they’ve sacrificed, rather than what they’ve contributed to our collective – we balk, sometimes violently. We call for deportation of those “others”. Violence and hate crimes against people “not like us” increase – as in the UK, where hate crimes jumped 41% after the Brexit “Leave” vote.

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