Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Stay weird, Stay different

The above strong message was given in an Oscar acceptance speech by Graham Moore who won an Oscar last Sunday for best adapted screenplay. He wrote the screenplay for the Imitation Game. It was a heartfelt speech which stayed with me. Not only because it was the one Oscar for a film that needed more recognition in my eyes, but because there are so many people in the world who are struggling with being different, and who are being labled 'weird'.

In schools these days teachers can't cope with all the kids who are different. They need children who can walk in the same pace. Or even better; children who are better at achieving something. The better you are in achieving the better it is in the schools these days. At least here in the Netherlands it is my experience.
My sons always were normal children, until they had to perform in school. Had to is the right word here because teachers weren't looking at what a kid can do, kids were pushed to perform and do the same things as the average kids. But what if your kid isn't average? What if you are different? If you are they want to label you. In my youngest son's case they needed to test him and he got the label: Mild autism with ADHD.

But what if you have a label? Does that help the child to develop better? Be a better person or a quicker study? Well no because if you have that label it only means you are 'weird' and difficult, or different and because we live in a society that thrives on achieving we can't deal with being different, or being weird. So they start to neglect and exclude the weird and different children. Simply because they wanted them labeled. (Which leads to bullying but that's a different topic entirely) What if they hadn't labeled them? Would they still be different and weird? Probably, only without the stigma of the label! My son hates his label! He recently turned 18 and now says he doesn't have what they diagnosed him with. He's better than his label, he's more than his label, he is his own personality.

 Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in the Imitation Game

As long as I can remember I was being told not to talk so loud, not to laugh so hard, to pay attention more. My teachers said to my parents I was seeing every bird on every branch.
(I think I still do) 
Yes I think I do have that label as well, only I was never tested. Am I different? Am I weird? I probably am but does that bother me? Not in the slightest, I like being different.
Is being different so very difficult for a teacher? It probably is more work but why should it? When our parents were children there were no labels and no one was talking about how hard it was to have all those different children in one classroom. They were just children without labels.
Why do we live in a society that concerns themselves so much about how people are? Live and let live I always say! Maybe with a tiny bit more attention the weird and different people will thrive more then the 'normal'  people ever will! Or maybe we should just stop labeling people. Stop focusing on the performing but pay more attention on the qualities that each and every child possesses.
It would be a much brighter world.

© KH

1 comment:

Daan (Dan) said...

it really helped me when i stopped mixing with Normal People... found some fellow-weirdies... wonderful that was!!! so liberating... it meant letting go of most of my family and blanking out most of my neighbours, but it is so worth it... !!