Stepping away from normality to be extraordinary

When Faith Jegede speaks of her younger brothers, she describes their personalities, their gifts, and that which she loves about them. Yet when others describe the two boys, often emphasized is the idea that they are ‘not normal’, as if normality is the most-prized characteristic. In the video below, Jegede requests of the audience, “Please, don’t tell me I’m normal.” She goes on to explain that by stepping away from attempting to be the same as those around us, we can realize what is extraordinary about ourselves. In this way, she realized that her siblings were “autistic, and extraordinary.” Jegede states, with obvious love, that in her brother Remy she saw that, “Beyond the tantrums, and the frustration, and the never-ending hyperactivity, was something really unique; a pure and innocent nature. A boy who saw the world without prejudice. A human who had never lied. Extraordinary.” She presents the idea that pursuit of ‘normality’, as a social construct, can often be a hindrance to sharing our individual gifts and greatness. And by allowing normality to “overlook the beauty that difference gives us,” we are limiting ourselves.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of DisAbility Rights Galaxy.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.