6 – Include everybody

A lot of the time, people are reluctant to let certain people into a group if they have a bad reputation or they are perceived as belonging to a different group. The CDM cannot work with prejudices. The more that people are categorised and marginalised, the more negative behaviour you will receive from them. The reason is that you made it happen by rejecting them. Think how you would feel if a group wouldn’t let you join because they didn’t like something about you. You would resent the group and probably badmouth it to your friends and develop a rift between you and the group. Community failure.

The fact is we all live in our communities together and we depend on each other for all kinds of things. If you need a burst water-pipe fixed quickly, it doesn’t matter if the plumber is white, black, green, silver, gay, straight, a former prisoner or a cross-dresser at the weekends. If they can fix it, you need them. It’s about what people can do that counts. The more you respect and support people, the more they will respect and support you. If you know a teenager who is notorious for spraying graffiti on walls, ask them to come and help create a design for the side of a building. They will feel better about themselves for being valued just as you would be if someone knew that you could do something and called for your input.


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