Uniquely able is what we all are. Everyone has a quality, character, ability, and physique that make us wonderfully human. Uniquely able to contribute, add and give meaning to our world. Yet, when we feel we don’t fit into a group we often think that should strive to be in the middle of the bell curve, normal, average and medium. The attraction of being part of a pack, and not stand out, is how society teaches us to be.
This post celebrates the uniquely able in each and everyone. It is also a battle cry for more understanding and education. Some of us are more uniquely able and get labeled as ‘different’.
I am here evoking the need to use the right words to describe the right condition rather than to grouping it into a dis-ability or dis-order. Let us learn more about everyone’s unique abilities. Open your mind to what makes you special, and how to celebrate the uniquely able as part of the kaleidoscope that makes humanity. How uniquely able are you?
Uniquely Able – The So-Called Normal
Average height, medium build, and fitting into a group that we call ours. This seems to be what we strive for. Being part of the bell curved generation where no-one stands out, or fall outside of the frame, is what society views as ‘normal’.
Normal, seen through the eye of the beholder, is filtered through the lens of society. If you deviate from the norm you have behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that don’t match up to what society considers standard. This standard is based on how a majority of other people (groupings) think or act. Society actively makes comparisons and looks for conformity. When you are part of a group you are safe — so history and those around us have taught us.
Abnormal is defined as deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.
The term is used in comparison to a group, and the standard set in a said group – hence why the social lens needs to be carefully studied before you make a judgment of the perception of what is not normal.
So if the opposite of normal is abnormal – is disorder the other side of order?
Uniquely Able – What Is A Dis-Order?
An order is an aligned, regular function of a system or society. The opposite is dis-order, but I challenge the use of this word in the common language where the negative connotation is strong for those that use this word without really understanding it.
In medical terms, disorder means: ‘a derangement or abnormality of function; a morbid physical or mental state.‘ (The Medical Dictionary). For everyday use, however, the perception of ‘dis’order’ can bring on labeling and push out those that are not seen as fitting in.
Let me explain what I mean…
Uniquely Able: Groups and Barriers
Groups are safe. Since early man, we have hunted together lived in villages and congregated in groupings. In groups, you need to be a part, and not set apart. Hence, when you then realize that you have abilities which mean that you see the world differently from others – the sensation of standing outside becomes stronger.
Luckily the world where left-handed children got their hands tied behind their backs is gone (almost everywhere). YET, we call someone who does not fit into a standard by labels. These labels make us feel part of the group that does not have such ‘infliction’ and we feel safe.
When a child has unique abilities which mean seeing, thinking and behaving differently we call this a dis-ability. When someone has physical traits or medical conditions which affect the body and mind, we say they have a dis-order. These dis- words put up a barrier that can take away from appreciating the unique and good in each and everyone.
Uniquely Able – Different, Differences and Diverse
As a young girl, I dreamt of living in a suburban street. I imagined how wonderful it would be to be shorter, with brown hair, and have parents who worked as teachers or firemen (why? I wonder now). My classmates heckled me for being different, and my imaginary world was my safe place.
When our family moved (again) I became part of a group where different was good. My international school meant the meeting of cultures, behaviors, and languages and a true appreciation of the diverse. The fact that we all came from such diverse backgrounds, looked like the cultures we came from and spoke so many languages made us a group that belonged together.
I grew up to stand 182 cm tall, blond, not living in suburbia and nor am I a teacher, or a fireman. My world is my oyster, and home is everywhere and nowhere. Today, I don’t need to be different, because I already am and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Different does not necessarily mean creating differences between people, and the diversity can be celebrated and understood.
Uniquely Able – Learning and Understanding
There are very positive movements among educators and evolved countries where name calling and labeling is getting replaced by understanding, information and real active appreciation of the unique abilities of those that do not fit the norm.
Uniquely Able: Dyslexia
An example of an often misunderstood uniquely able person is someone with dyslexia. In years gone by, the condition was often misunderstood as being an ‘ailment of the mind’, whereas it has nothing at all to do with intelligence. A well-known Scientist and Nobel Prize Winner, Albert Einstein, had dyslexia and an IQ of 160.
Even today children with dyslexia can feel set apart as few people really understand both sides of what being dyslexic actually means.
Dyslexia is not a complaint, nor an illness. It is caused by an impairment in the brain’s ability to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable language.
Dyslexia does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental retardation, brain damage, or a lack of intelligence.
Dyslexia can vary in severity, and if undetected lead to low self-esteem, and avoidance of situations where letters, numbers or images are involved. This article from Medical News Today explains dyslexia: What is Dyslexia? What Causes Dyslexia?
The Dyslexic Advantage
The positive movements among educators and many famous people who step up to share what dyslexia actually is have brought on lots of information available online, in schools, learning programs, and accessibility apps (find below).
We can now actually call dyslexia for what it is. It is not a dis-order, it is dyslexia and rather than fearing the impact of dyslexia, many are now taking about ‘The Dyslexic Advantage’ thanks to the unique qualities that someone with dyslexia has. Read this article and see for yourself: The Dyslexic Advantage by Heart of Wisdom.
Uniquely Able: Learn and Understand
The GOODista has taken the example of dyslexia here, but there are many dis-orders and dis-abilities that are equally as misunderstood.
We encourage our readers to learn, read and most of all understand the challenges and the very uniqueness that sets the special in a positive light. Call a dis- by its real name and explain, share, communicate and bring light to what can otherwise set someone uniquely able apart.
Uniquely Able – How Able Are You?
We fear what we do not understand, and when something is different we tend to shy away from it. If you have special qualities, abilities, and traits that set you apart from a group it can feel awkward. You can try to make the group understand by sharing with them what it is that makes you uniquely able.
The internet is full of informative blogs, apps, and tools that make it easier. Thanks to technology you can also inform yourself when you get to know someone who has a something that at first strikes you as different.
Open your mind to learning. Call things by their real names, and don’t fall into the trap of grouping it into ‘dis-order’, ‘complaint’, or ‘not normal’.
It has been said: ‘kids can be horrible’ when it comes to mobbing, but children learn from adults who transmit their fears – which is why those that are perceived as not fitting in are heckled for being different rather than curiously approached and welcomed because they have something special to share.
Do You Like Inspiration for Everyday and Work Away? Join us! Learn More
Uniquely Able – Cause For Celebration
Everyone has qualities and traits – physical and physiological – that make them unique. There is little room in our world to create more barriers. There are too many already.
The GOODista is based on the principles: Feel, Be and Do Good. To feel good in yourself, you also need to be good and treat yourself and others with respect. This way you also start to do good – and can share this with others and the world.
Let us celebrate the uniqueness in all of us, and learn to appreciate the very special qualities. You are uniquely able and should be proud of what you have. Are you uniquely able? Please share your story with us, and let others get inspired too 🙂
Do you want inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good every week sign up below (and get newsletter, special goodies and more)
Related and Recommended:
- Learning Disabilities and Disorders – Help Guide
- Personalised Learning Web Tools and Accessibility Aids – Scoop.it
- Apps for Dyslexia – Scoop.it
Subscribe to Newsletter and More
Inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good