The Common Good

I Do Not Want to Be Tolerated or Included

Interestingly enough, people sometimes get surprised and/or offended when they hear me say that I do not want to be tolerated or included. While at first glance tolerance and inclusion appear to be favorable concepts, at a deeper level they are "softer" expressions of violence and ostracism. To be tolerated and included speaks of some standards constructed and approved by the dominant group/culture, in which the "other" clearly does not fit, can't follow, is not part of. Following these constructed guidelines creates the myth of the normative way of being, behaving, and cultural expression, that leave those who do not conform and fit as marginals, therefore in need to be graciously included and tolerated. I am not interested in fitting into some "civilized" and "educated" scheme.

In renouncing that frame of reference, I ideologically and practically join the many grassroots movements, renouncing the assumptions and myths crafted and imposed by the dominant culture on who and what people need to be in order to be valued. With these groups and people I join in re-membering, re-claiming, re-shaping, and re-defining our human value and identity from the perspective of community, family, organic wisdom and education, interpersonal economics, celebrations, incarnational spirituality, and homegrown liberated spaces.

Eliacin Rosario-CruzEliacín Rosario-Cruz serves as community catalyst and cultivator with Mustard Seed Associates. He and his family are part of The Mustard Seed House -- an intergenerational Christian intentional community in Seattle, where they eat, play, work, garden, pray, and conspire for a new reality.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)