The room was small.
I was a little late, and peered in. My son saved me a seat. But I didn’t go in immediately. Because there were a lot of people still waiting to get in.
The man next to me said, “I think we can fit.”
I counted. 12 more people. Maybe enough seats?
I said, “There’s a lot of people still out here.”
Because there were probably others that would still be later. Others that wouldn’t want to sit with someone and couldn’t. Or others who would feel uncomfortable with the small space. We might have fit. But it was so tight that it would have been so easy to have someone excluded.
I waited, worried…and then relieved. The person in charge gave the order. Everyone stood up, grabbed their chairs and moved to the other room. A big room with more space, more chairs to set up.
Everyone could be included.
Do we sometimes try to fit people into places they might not comfortably fit? Fit people into our bias, stereotypes, schedules…
Maybe it’s time to stand up and move to a bigger room. So anyone that is late can still come. Anyone that needs more space can have it. Everyone will be included and no one will be listening from outside the door.
Let’s not squeeze people into stereotypes. Let’s free up time on schedules for unanticipated opportunities to connect with others. Let’s open up and make sure everyone has a place to belong and be included.