The sign on the door to my son’s bedroom said, “The more, the better ask others to play.”  He found it in the garbage at school.  (We never figured out why a school would throw out a sign with a message so clearly pro getting along.)

It is pleasing to see your kid put up a poster with this message as a parent.  My daughters like to include others but stopped short of hanging a used sign on their door to advertise it.  One of my children went to school with a group of people who frequently excluded people, and there was always drama in their class.  It was a constant headache for all parents involved.  In the end, very few of the girls lasted through high school, it seemed most of the girls in the class transferred to other schools.

Whenever you ask my son-in-law, Jon, if it is ok to invite somebody else to join our event or group, he ALWAYS says, “the more, the merrier.”

Of course, we are all familiar with movies like Mean Girls, The Christmas Story and the A-List, or books like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  All these tales have the same theme, the people who think they are better than everybody and leave people out end up losing in the end.  When I was young, they made an entire series of movies based on leaving people out, called the Revenge of the Nerds.  I bet the under 50 crowd that has never seen these movies can figure out how they end.  (If you haven’t seen them, don’t bother, the title gives away the entire movie.)

But still, our world seems to enjoy excluding others.  And the people in our world seem to keep getting lonelier and lonelier.  If we all would stop finding ways to divide ourselves into subgroups, we might improve our quality of life and the lives of the people around us.

“Treating others the way you want to be treated” is a nearly universally approved value.  We all love the concept, and it is easy to carry out, yet today, we often don’t invite others into our lives.  We know an excluder is a bad person but often don’t take the chance to invite others to join them.

The Christian Gospel implores us to include others yet find ourselves shrinking our circles, not expanding them from time to time.

This is review season at Willmar Electric.  During review season, I get to sit in on dozens of reviews.  During one review this year, the person being reviewed kept telling us how great he thought the morale was on the projects he was working on.

After hearing him say it for the fourth time, I interrupted and said, “what makes the morale so high?”  He said, “everybody is treated like a coworker; nobody is treated less than.”  He went on to mention how when somebody didn’t understand something or didn’t know how to do a task; he would stop and take the time to teach them because it is up to all of us to mentor and improve each other.”

Wow.  Who wouldn’t want to work in an environment like that one?

Do you find yourself constantly eating with the same crowd?  Tomorrow reach out to somebody else.  Don’t leave out your regular crowd. Just add somebody.   I realize the Red Sox Is a superior being, but Rays fans need a friend too.  Ask him to lunch.

If they are a Packer fan, find something besides football or binge drinking, and you likely find something you have in common.  If they are a Husker fan, you don’t have to solve their issues (they might be unsolvable). Listen to their sorrow and see if you can steer the conversation to common ground on a happier topic.  If they are a Red Sox fan, don’t let their superiority and bragging intimidate you.  They are theoretically your equal, and you can find a way to include them.

Because Jon is correct, the more, the merrier.  Everybody wants to be included.