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November 7, 2012
Sunny Dawn Summers and Jesse Summers

Jesse and I are samesies in this photo (even though we are so different). I’m sure my mom was on her tip toes holding her camera too close to our faces like she does to record this precious moment.

Driving through the fog this morning, the sun streaking the sky casting rays into the Sound, lighting up the evergreens, I listened to a wee bit of NPR. I try not to listen to NPR much in the mornings anymore since the primaries started because it just depressed the crap out of me. But this morning, I had a small dose.

One phrase keeps echoing in my mind: we live in a country that has begun to make a choice for inclusion.

And I hope that’s right. Able bodied and disabled. Gay. Straight. Men. Women. All colors. Inclusion is also a fancy word we use in education as a way to describe keeping all kids in the classroom rather than pull-outs for students in special education. Last year in New Orleans we made it a priority to teach to all levels of student, the smartest and the one who struggles the most.

It’s nice to be reminded we are more alike than different.

I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness in a tiny town in Southeast Kansas. I lived in a tunnel of black and white. If you’re not perfect, you’re a sinner. If you aren’t righteous, you’re unrighteous. Satan or God. Life or death. Alcoholic or tea-totaler. Worldly or Witness. There was very little in the middle. And by very little, I mean nothing. I quit being a JW in my early teens when free thinking kicks in hard core. As I age, I am getting better at my struggle with grey. With rules. With perfectionism. It’s easier to see black and white than to settle into grey. But grey is where we are all ok. Grey is where we quit saying (or thinking) one person is better than another. Grey is where inclusion happens. Grey is a big swimming pool that has room for all of us. We aren’t so different, me and you. We’re samesies. Isn’t that nice?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 7, 2012 3:02 pm

    so perfect sunny. we need to get the love back into the game!! so much division it’s sad. INCLUSION! INCLUSION! INCLUSION!

    in my very first teaching practicum, my mentor teacher* told me she made her seating chart by putting all the good, smart kids grouped together at the front of the class and the bad kids together at a table in the back. “you teach to the good kids up front -they’re going to be the presidents… the kids in the back are going to be the rapists and murderers.”
    first of all, it was a first grade class. secondly, isn’t that MORE of a reason to teach those kids?!?!!? ugh, thank you for including ALL and reminding some ADULTS that we need to include as well.

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