Monday, June 16, 2008

More on Values

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.


~summer~ said...

Today at lunch I wandered over to SF City Hall to see the crowds on the first full day of legalized same-sex marriage in CA. There was a lot of cheering when couples walked up the steps, or emerged holding hands. A lot of drumming. Bright signs with happy messages ("Equality Feels Good" was my fave.) Free cupcakes. Rainbow balloons. Long stem red roses for the newlyweds. And not one single protester. Yipee! Not a one!!

Seeing so many happy people, many of whom have been in committed relationships with their partners for decades, made me all teary eyed. I was like "how can we (the state) have been denying these people this right for so long?!" It was a really neat thing to see so much love and so much support.

glued blue glass said...

I like that, "Equality Feels Good." Tolerance and inclusivity feels good too. Exclusivity takes too much negative energy to maintain.