Dec. 20, 2016

Welcome to my world - Part 3

Some of you may be asking by now, “Why does she think we need to know this stuff?” This is my third day to write a blog that focuses on me. As I shared on the first day, I believe it is important that you, my readers, understand what makes up this person called, “Roni.” So, once again…welcome to my world!

The third strength discovered in my recent strengths assessment revealed my “Includer” theme. People especially strong in the “Includer” theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them. The assessment goes on to explain:

“Chances are good that you derive much joy from teaming up with people to accomplish things. You view work, study, and play as opportunities to socialize and be productive. This explains why you need to interact with others on a regular basis. People probably energize you. Driven by your talents, you genuinely care about the people you meet. Your fondness is apt to be apparent to them. Habitually, you ask lots of questions and carefully study the responses. Because you take time to know them personally, many individuals feel safe sharing their innermost thoughts or feelings with you.  

Armed with these insights, you probably become their ambassador of good will. You frequently teach your circle of acquaintances and friends how to welcome these people into the group. It’s very likely that you realize your friendly nature permits you to cooperatively live and work with many kinds of people.

You are frequently the first to call attention to the goodness, talents, knowledge, or skills others possess. This makes individuals feel good. It also makes them feel they truly belong.  Instinctively, you strive to find something to treasure in just about everyone you meet.

You feel genuine affection for individuals whom others are apt to label unlikeable, annoying, or disagreeable. By nature, you are more sensitive than most people to what it feels like to be left out of a group, a conversation, or an activity. This is apt to explain why you intentionally invite a wide range of individuals into your circle of friends, family, or acquaintances.” 

Of all the themes revealed to me about myself, I think the “Includer” is the one I needed to be most aware of and to understand. It started when I was 12-years-old at a church lock-in. Once I watched the movie, “The Cross and the Switchblade,” I was hooked. My heart softened towards the less fortunate, those most at risk, those desperately in need of God’s love, and those that most people would prefer to ignore or cast aside. 

As this strength was revealed to me, the past presidential election made perfect sense. I could not understand why I was so angry and so disillusioned with the majority of my family, friends, and colleagues who supported Donald Trump. At one point, I cried out to God and asked, “Why am I so different than everyone around me?” His reply came in the form of this silly little strengths assessment. God reminded me of who I am in Him. I am an Includer. I know how it feels to be left out, misunderstood, judged, ignored, and threatened. I know how it feels because God wants me to know how it feels so that I can be accepting of others when they experience the same.

 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.” Zechariah 7:9-10