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--- ky08 (9/6/2010)
 
We each come from a variety of backgrounds, all of us originated in different areas, whether we’re first generation immigrants or had ancestors who arrived two hundred years ago. Diversity can also generate from the image that one creates for himself. It encompasses a multitude of areas: gender, social, religious, ethnic, socioeconomic, etc. Some of these aspects are innate, such as ethnicity, while others are self-created, such as sexual orientation or religion. Everyone has a sense of individuality, in some shape or form, which they can bring to the table. The acceptance and integration of these varied ideas create a place where diversity thrives.

I consider diversity to be a concept that’s not as simple as everyone may believe. Depending on the family in which you were raised and the community you grew up in, people have completely different ways of defining this term. For me, living in a different country, two states, and six neighborhoods have provided me with great insight. All of these communities were fairly diverse in their own way, so I was exposed to a new group of people every time our family relocated.

When we moved to the United States, I could barely speak English and made effortful attempts to assimilate myself into mainstream culture. I didn’t want people to think I was different or be the object of ridicule. However, as time went on, people seemed to genuinely appreciate my background as I told stories about my life. I noticed that by opening up and having a positive mindset will cause people to gain a better understanding of what you’re going through. My classmates also shared with me their viewpoints on different areas of life. By listening to others’ stories, I realized diversity is an extremely complex term, no matter how ordinary you may seem, there will always be something that separates you from the rest of the group.

 
 
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