For weeks people all over England have cheered and celebrated eleven young men and their manager as they steadily climbed the ladder of the Euro 2020 to finally make it to the final step.
Fifty-Five million people around England could see themselves and their dreams reflected on the young faces of these men. This feat was not only achieved through them kicking a football to each other but also through their powerful stand for equality and inclusion. A stand that was supported and encouraged by their manager Gareth Southgate, who at the beginning of this tournament penned a heartfelt letter to all of England to talk to them about what it means to be English in modern day England.
In his letter Southgate talks about inclusion and how he wanted to make sure that his team represented the modern diverse England that he sees now. He wants everyone watching the games, be it from the stadium, a pub or even glued to their TV at home, to feel included. To feel like their team and their country embraces them not despite their differences but because of them.
“Inclusivity is really important for us because I think that is what modern England is. We know it hasn’t always been the case and there are historic reasons for that. But that level of tolerance and inclusion is what we have to be about moving forward.” - Gareth Southgate
Our differences are what makes this world interesting, what makes it ever changing and what drives it to move forward. That’s why it’s disgraceful when we use these differences to degrade and abuse one another. We can’t ‘’accept’’ people only when it’s convenient and beneficial for us and then turn and throw slurs at them the second they step out of the line we drew for them.
From where we stand, at Autsera, we try to channel the same principles that Gareth Southgate is advocating for. We believe that modern day England can grow to be more tolerant and accepting of all people. We focus our attention on children and especially children who might need the extra push to achieve their full potential that we wholeheartedly believe they can and will achieve.
For those children, the word inclusion doesn’t just mean embracing them in your space but making sure that space is suitable, fitting and safe for them. Acting like everyone is the same, with the exact same needs is not what inclusion and acceptance means. This kind of attitude might actually lead the person in the exact opposite direction of where they meant to go. It’s important to understand that differences exist and accepting those differences and educating yourself and others on how to deal with them is how we achieve a tolerant society that truly practices the true meaning of inclusion.
We as a society owe it to ourselves to do everything in our power to make sure no child feels incompetent or left behind because they have more needs than their peers. We all have our own needs and differences that we want others to accept and tolerate, the least we can do is practice what we preach among the purest and most innocent members of our society: children.
While we, at Autsera, mostly focus on developing games that are inclusive to as many children as possible, we try to use our voices and platform to raise awareness for all kinds of inclusivity. Inclusivity and acceptance is a mindset that needs to be practiced in all aspects of life to be true. We urge you to look around you and see the differences of people as something to celebrate not something to shun and use against them. There is always room to grow and learn and be better and that is what being English in modern England is all about.