I spent the weekend at a university sponsored leadership retreat. It was a direct result of me signing up for anything the university sends me. That mentality has given me some weird results but I don’t mind being out of my comfort zone anymore. At the very least I expected free meals for the weekend, but I came home with so much more.
My first thought when we boarded the bus to Springfield was there were a lot of people and way too little time to interact with all of them. Especially since everyone else was cliquey. When the workshop started all the walls came down. We all had a common bond, interest in leadership and how to battle adversity while leading. It was good because social change was on all of our minds so we didn’t have to hide it behind small talk.
There’s things the program leaders expected me to take away, but I think I sneaked in a lesson by myself. Sure they may have pressed the issue of inclusiveness but I took some free range on that idea. Forty seemed like a lot of people for just one day. At the end though, it felt like such a small amount. Communities make large numbers irrelevant. It’s not forty people, it’s one individual with the passion and characteristics of forty. Diversity in thought and background brings a community together, not tear it apart. I know it seems like I’m contradicting just to contradict, but really I’m just shedding light on misconceptions that have been internalized. Think of a community through the law of large numbers, the more people there are, the closer to the actual mean it will get. So through diversity on both ends of the spectrum, we can come together to truly represent the population, which is what social change is all about.