The term "fitting in," is so important to a child. It defines who they play with, activities they will be drawn too, and it is thrown around so much that it makes you feel an urge to "fit in." I grew up in a community where I "fit in," but truly did I "fit in?" Fortunately for me, I was never shunned or made to feel as if I shouldn't belong. I made connections, cheered my last year of high school, and moved on in life. It has been nice to move forward and "fit in" elsewhere. People of more my ethnic and religious background have allowed me to grow. People with entrepreneurial skills have allowed me to challenge myself and hopefully take risks. I must realize that I was very fortunate for my earlier experiences and supportive community.
We see those adults who were shunned, or in their interpretation of experiences were not treated fairly. They move through life with this bitter, angry, condemnation. Those early experiences of not "fitting in" linger with them and causes them to be negative. While I agree, everything does shape you, it does not define you and you must learn acceptance, and move forward and find the situations and people that allow you to "fit in."
It is important for children to learn acceptance so they are able to handle situations where they "fit in" and don't "fit in" and find constructive solutions to allow them to not feel miserable for years to come.
"Fitting in," was the inspiration for my current project, I Like French Fries Too!
I want children to feel that even though they have diversity, their culture, their ways, they still have something in common and will "fit in."