The Law of Inclusion – David Ledbetter

August 15, 2016

There are some things I do that my wife loves (like foot massages) and there are others that she strongly dislikes. This “thing” is neither of those.


One thing that I really believe in is the power of inclusion. People want to feel important and treasured. We want to feel like we belong.


It’s like that really important life rule… I think it goes something like, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” or something like that…


Either way, I know that I like the red carpet to be rolled out for me. I like invitations. I like being included because it makes me feel loved and acknowledged. So when I’m going to do something fun, I like to get others involved!


The simple power of reaching out can change someone’s day in a way you never thought possible. A quick bite with a comrade or a walk with a stranger—it doesn’t just offer a stronger relationship, it can give you an entirely new perspective.


It’s really hard to open a new door to relationships and the possibility of a few uncomfortable moments and embarrassment, but once you get “over the hump,” things change. People matter so much more than the trivial little details of life. Sure, there are things that demand our attention but they’ll still be there when the day is over.


What can really be that important that it needs to be addressed right now? It can wait.


The beauty of the Law of Inclusion, as we’ll call it, is that it applies across all areas of life: business, sports, social events, and the like. You’d be hard-pressed to find activities that are better done alone than with others.


Some of my teammates and I have picked up a breakfast shindig we call Wooden Breakfast. I’ll tell the story of the name at a later date (gotta keep you guessing!) but the idea is simply that a few men come together to talk about the important things in life. We talk about our victories, struggles, thoughts, meditations, and everything in between. Each member of the Breakfast is an individual – carrying different experiences, interpreting messages differently, offering new wisdom, and being a key part of the group. Everyone brings flavor.


Now, I could just do devotions on my own. Cooking for one leaves no leftovers (and if it does I usually eat them anyway) and the cleanup is easy. It would still be rewarding for my Spirit, the soul of my being. However, Wooden Breakfast simply does more than I could do on my own. And there are other things that the Law of Inclusion brings—think of them like bonus features.


First, it offers accountability. When more than one person is involved there’s a requirement for each party to carry their own weight. You immediately become responsible for something! What that “something” is will change, but responsibility is a guarantee.


Second, it offers love. Love engages with all. Although love may carry different definitions from person to person, it’s undeniable that love doesn’t sit alone. It can only be fulfilled when there’s more than a single person involved. Including others gives the opportunity to show love and, in turn, receive it as well!


Third, it offers grace. We all mess up. Perfection is an illusion, but sometimes we just forget that. Facing others gives us the chance to see our imperfections and grow accordingly. There are times when words slip, when actions don’t align with good intentions, or when feelings are hurt. These are also great times to come together and GROW. It’s a choice, not a simple reaction.


So get involved! Seek others and the opportunity to do things together. It can be big or small. It can be useful or absolutely useless—it doesn’t matter. The point is to look out for others; to be willing to let down your walls a little bit to let someone else climb over for a while.


Try the Law of Inclusion and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


—David Ledbetter


David Ledbetter is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


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