A prominent soccer player joins a prestigious local team.
His stay at that team is short-lived and after he left, he says:
“It was difficult at the club, when you have almost no-one to talk to, you just go to training there, warm up, go home, and you don’t know what to work on. No one talks to you, no one embraces you, you are alone.”
These are invisible boundaries drawn to make you feel like an outsider.
When you are an insider and those who are inside with you starts to feel like you don’t belong, they spit you out.
Adopting the insider/outsider mentality is drawing invisible boundaries to keep others in and others out.
But as Meredith Grey said in Grey’s Anatomy puts it:
“At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out, they fence you in. Life is messy, that’s how we’re made. So you can waste your life drawing lines or you can live your life crossing them. But there are some lines that are way too dangerous to cross. Here’s what I know. If you’re willing to throw caution to the wind and take a chance, the view from the other side… is spectacular.“
While we fence others out because they are not part of our tribe, because they don’t know our secret handshake or don’t have our badge of honor, because they don’t look like us, talk like us and wear like us, we imprison ourselves.
As a result we hide, we miss the opportunity to connect, to learn, to explore and to grow because true growth happens outside our comfort zones, outside our high walls and borders.
It is when we embrace those who are not like us, that we are able to appreciate the beauty of our diversity.
In my TEDx talk on Sawubona, We See You, I talk about the importance of seeing people as people, not as sales prospects, or sub-humans, or as insignificant.
When we embrace other people [including those who don’t look like us] we are likely to be exposed to spectacular experiences as Meredith Grey puts it.