Who is really normal? A lot of people see people with disabilities as abnormal. Fine! They have disabilities and might not be able to do some things on their own but that does not make them abnormal. As far as I am concern everyone has one disability or the other. If you do not have money in your pocket or in your account and you want to buy some things for yourself that is a disability at that moment. You are preparing for exams and you have to study overnight but your eyes are heavy with sleep, it that not a disability. You are in your office and you want to do some things online and the internet is not working properly, tell me is that not a disability.
Now let go the everyday people, people we see on our streets, roads, in our neighbourhood or even in government. While on the street recently, I saw a man offloading his entire bladder system by the busy road. Is that normal? You see a bus driver driving on the wrong side of the road, is that normal? A politician makes a lot of promises when he is seeking for votes but when he gets elected he does absolutely nothing and want to go for a second term, is that normal I ask? We see people dump rubbish or garbage in the gutters or on the streets, is that normal? You see people, who can work with their hands begging on the streets, is that normal? You find students cheating in the exams halls, is that normal?
Still trying to find normal, you see white people discriminating against blacks knowing fully well that we are all GOD’s creations, is that normal? Rejecting wise counsel from parents and senior ones is that normal? Talking to people in a rude manner is that normal? Taking hard drugs is that normal? Rigging of election is that normal? Is God-fatherism in politics normal? Is killing of people normal? Stealing from others is it normal? Forming gangs in schools is that normal? Child abuse is it normal? Bribery and corruption is that normal? And yet they say people with disability are not normal.
Now let define normal, normal is conforming to standard or what is common within a society. From this definition it can deduce that what is normal in one society might not be normal in another society. Even in our cultures, what is normal in one culture might be abnormal in another culture. You cannot see a typical African child giving his father a handshake in the morning meanwhile in most western culture it is allowed. So what is acceptable in the western culture might not be acceptable in the African context. I could go on and on but the truth is that finding normal is pretty difficult taking into account that normal in one culture or society is not normal in another society. So who is really normal? Or should I say who needs to be normal any way!
After all is said and done, people are people first; likewise people with disabilities are also people before whatever challenging abilities they have. Today we need to see disabilities as a human Rights issue as oppose to charity and an under privilege situation.
Oluwabusola AKinsola (living with Cerebral Palsy)