I am still doing alot of thinking about values. In graduate school, I read Reamer's Social Work Values and Ethics. I pulled it back off the shelf but haven't started it. I wasn't all that challenged by my values and ethics class in school. I was challenged last week.
I remember a scenario in graduate school in which a social worker worked at a health care facility where the workers went on strike. The dilemna was whether or not the social worker should cross the picket line to ensure that the clients were cared for. I don't remember details of the strike but I think the workers were requesting a living wage. There was no question in my mind. You strike because in the long run, living wages for the staff would translate into better care for the clients.
So last week when I had a difficult decision to make, I struggled. I went with the majority opinion which was what my gut was telling me all along.
I have finally come up with why my decision makes sense. While I believe in inclusivity, I cannot support someone who is exclusive and who can use the power given to her/him to exclude others. In the long run, my exclusivity will insure inclusivity. In some ways, this values problem is very similar to whether or not to cross a picket line. The short term may make one lean one way, but a long term perspective changes everything.
The posted photos are from our community's PRIDE celebrations this past weekend. It has been getting bigger and bigger ever year. Days like this, I am very aware of how some try to exclude. This is the first year that I have attended where there have not been protesters. We're standing up to exclusionary perspectives and the world is growing more overtly supportive.