In between potty training and packing boxes this morning I came across this video in my FaceBook feed. It’s nothing particularly revolutionary or mind bending for that matter, but it is video which deals with a topic that has been on my mind of late.

I have been a part of many different communities. Whether it was standing along-side strangers on a wildland fire crew cutting line or waiting atop Tiger mountain for the thermals to start I have usually felt included. Rarely, have I felt like others in any of these groups were judging me or placing me in some sort of of diminished position within a predetermined hierarchy.

Credentials can be important. They can tell others you are working with or playing along-side something about your relative skill level or dedication to a particular disciple. How did that guy in the fox hole next to you qualify at his last range, for instance. Or is this person really qualified to be teaching this class? Pertinent questions that often need to be answered swiftly.

Arbitrary categorization, the kind that says “you’re not as much of a geek as I” or “you’re not as qualified to be a storyteller as me”, however, are capricious and often ill-informed. I really enjoyed this sublime message embedded in Jennifer Landa‘s video, because communities only get better when we allow others into them. Diversity, whether its race, faith, or your publisher is a sign of quality.

Thanks to the community of science fiction and fantasy writers I’ve recently been introduced to, your welcoming inclusion means a lot to me.

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