What is normal? For this blog post, I shall limit the definition to physical appearance. A normal human being has two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, a body, two hands and two feet. And you are normal if you can perform everything another human being can do.
So, what about those who are lacking in any of the above aspects? They could be born without a body part or have a health condition which prohibits them from functioning like any other human being. Are they abnormal? If your answer to this question is yes, then I AM ABNORMAL.
For those who know me, I have a neurological condition which is similar to a case of cerebral palsy. Some of the symptoms I have include unsteady gait, difficulty with balancing, speech problem and involuntary movements (especially facial gestures).
I was very fortunate to grow up in a very sheltered environment where I was most shielded from the harsh stares and comments of others. But I was not spared these negative reactions when I became older and was more sensitive to other people’s perception of me.
I would be lying if I told you that I am strong enough to not feel anything when people stare or make unkind comments about my appearance. Even after dealing with this my entire life of more than four decades, I still feel the sting when people look at me strangely. It is like a stab at an old wound that never heals every time it happens.
For that reason, I totally respect Nick Vujicic on how positive he is despite his condition. I am amazed at how he has turned his abnormality into his biggest asset to tell his story and inspire people. He has transformed from being abnormal to extraordinary.
But I am no Nick Vujicic. Frankly, I am much luckier than most ‘abnormal’ people out there. At least, I am fully functional and can do many things on my own. I am thankful for that. But there are also days when I questioned God for my disability. I felt that I have been treated unfairly because I can do so much more if I were ‘normal’. I wish I could be many things that I am not. Sometimes, I watch with envy those who are ‘normal’. I am just being human.
At the end of the day, I realised that the important thing is that I picked myself up again after I fall and start the next day anew. It’s easier said than done. Sometimes, I succeed, sometimes, I don’t.
Every day is struggle for people like me. So, please be kind.