handmade with love in brooklyn 

"Marisol McDonald No Combina"

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Liz Blake | 0 comments

Marisol McDonald has nut-brown skin and freckles. Dark eyes and flaming orange hair. She speaks English and Spanish. She loves to combine her favorite games: pirates and soccer. Stripes and polka dots are her favorite combination. Marisol McDonald eats peanut butter and jelly burritos for lunch. Marisol McDonald doesn't match. She embraces her differences and lives a happy life. Until everyone starts telling her does "doesn't match." The implication is that this is a bad thing. 

After a terrible day of trying to blend in, Marisol receives some encouragement from her teacher. Her teacher reminds her that she is a "creative, unique, bilingual-Scottish-Peruvian-American, soccer-playing artist and is simply marvelous!" In the end, Marisol decides that she doesn't want to match everyone else. She chooses to embrace her differences because they are what make her unique and special. They are what make her who she is.

In my courses so far this year, along with my varied travels, I have continued to understand the importance of being a citizen of the global community. Everybody has things that make us different, and we are all "other" in some way. Living in Brooklyn, we are lucky to be surrounded by a multitude of different people from all over the world. There are so many opportunities for teaching our young ones about different people, and why being different is ultimately a good thing. There are so many opportunities for us all to learn from each other.  Although it isn't always easy, we can all try to take a page from Marisol's book and celebrate our differences.

Until next time, I'll leave you with another poem by Shel Silverstein, from his collection Everything On It, that also urges us to celebrate our differences: 
“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”
―Shel Silverstein
Everything On It
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