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There are very few of us here.

That was the very first thought that crossed my mind when I stepped onto the farm. I knew that I was going to be a semi-farmer for the summer, but I assumed that there would be more diversity. Instead, as I gave a brief inspection of my surroundings, I saw many who, judging by their facial expressions, were clearly foreign to the city. They clicked together as if they feared the idea of being associated with outsiders; and I, I drew further into myself. At that moment, my nerves began to tighten.

I hated change.

I found it difficult to relate to my co-workers and as days of work eventually wore on to weeks, it was obvious that I was not the only who felt that way. When the supervisors took notice of the growing amount of resignations, they knew that they needed to make a few adjustments.

“This activity is called step up, step down” Jackson, one of our supervisors, announced after lunch one day. Jackson instructed us to form one horizontal line and that we hold hands. This did not sit well with me, but I complied anyways. He informed us that he was going to read several statements aloud and if they applied to us, then we would take a step forward, and if they did not, then we take a step back.

He started, “If your parents read to you when you were younger, step up.”

As the girl beside me stepped up and I stepped back, we were forced to let go of each other. She glanced back at me and for a second, I saw disappointment flash in her eyes. When I gazed around, I was surprised at how many people stepped back along with me. As the activity progressed, I sensed a change occurring. By the end of the activity, I stood in alignment with people I never spoke to before. I began to realize that my co-workers and I were not so different after all.

Looking back, I ridicule my initial trepidation about change. After witnessing how many similarities my co-workers and I shared, I learned that diversity is not only defined by race, it is also defined through experience. Since realizing that change can not solely be judged by its appearance, the idea of it no longer seems so horrid, after all.



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