I’m trying to get to grips with the word ‘difference’. What are its connotations? If I were to describe you as different, would you be pleased or hurt? Like all things I guess it depends on the context. My son has a limb difference: he is one-handed. But he is not different to any other little boys. He loves trains and diggers. He loves playing with his friends. He loves reading stories. He is special, unique, clever, funny, gorgeous, cheeky, and totally and utterly perfect. He does things his own way, but don’t we all?
Why is it that difference sometimes scares and/or embarrasses people? They say it’s all about a lack of education, but I’m not sure how true that is. I think it comes down to conformity. Society wants us to conform. We are all pushed to conform in so many different ways, and sadly most of us do so without even realising. So when we see someone who is different, it highlights our own conformity. And perhaps we don’t like that.
Think of great people, inspiring people. Are they ‘normal’? I doubt it, because if they were they wouldn’t have achieved all that they have. Usain Bolt – different. Barack Obama – different. J.K.Rowling – different. Interestingly enough, here, different is synonymous with legend.
So is my son different? Yes absolutely, he’s a legend.