Lesson 1.8

Let’s step back for a minute and talk about the Moral Case for being inclusive about differences.

We’ve spent the better part of the last hour talking about the benefits of combining different points of view and ways of doing things. When two people who think differently combine their ways of thinking, they have the potential to be smarter and see further than any one of them could on their own. It doesn’t always happen, but it can’t happen if they think the same.

And likewise, when one person exercises curiosity about different perspectives and learns about things from different places, industries, fields, what-have-you—that person builds their own potential for creative breakthroughs. Because creativity is when you combine things that haven’t been combined before.

All that’s great! It’s an excuse to include different kinds of people in our lives and our problem solving efforts.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that there’s a good moral reason for do that, too.

Though there’s a strong practical case for including different kinds of people and their different thinking into our work and lives, there’s a moral case for it, too.

Just about every classic spiritual and philosophical school of thought teaches that humans are valuable, and that fairness is important. Scientists have discovered that this sense of “fair or not fair” is built into our biology. (Ask anyone who’s had a kid, and they’ll tell you that babies and toddlers are KEENLY AWARE of the concept of unfairness."

We’ll discuss this biological basis for things like fairness and kindness—which is called “moral foundations theory”—later in the course. But for now, I’d just like to emphasize, while I have you here, that I believe that it’s the right thing to do to include people who aren’t like us in our lives and our work—especially in our work that affects society. If we believe in fairness, then we should believe in inclusion.

In the long run, we create a more fair system by focusing on including more kinds of people in our work. And also: in the long run we can make up for some of a history of injustice by focusing on including more kinds of people now.

Now that I’m done preaching this mini sermon, we can get off my soap box and get back to the pragmatics of what inclusion looks like in practice!

Let’s go!