Boxing the Grey Cells

The world is a careful orchestration of facts and logics that lay onto each other to give varied results. Choices are invariably between few options, like video simulations, that pile onto each other to result in vastly different outcomes. The law of multiplication in its grandest application. Successful is he who can decipher these truths of the world to come up with his own. As a woman of logic, it baffles me, thus, how individuals can blatantly turn an eye away from the facts that stare them in the face. Certain advocates for equality like to harp on the premise that all humans are the same, a concept that I never understood. The very aspects that make us human differentiate us. From our genetic code which dictates our physical capacities to our appearance which segregates us on a visual level to our individual psyches that transcends measurable scales, humans are literally programmed to stand out. Which is why it is ignorant to assume that all of us are cut of the same cloth and fit into the same mould. However, an admittance of dissimilarity is not a translation to advocacy for injustice. There is a difference between seeing individuality and condemning others for it. These unwritten divides that segregate us into subgroups within a larger population are not the reason for the animosity that certain individuals feel. These malicious thoughts are viruses concealed in promising packets of healthy cells which cross the barriers within our heads to infect what lies beyond, to decay our minds. These trojan horses of malevolence implant themselves into our psyche without our knowledge, they start an unalterable process of gradual decline of our thoughts and of our perspectives. They turn dissimilar people into ‘them' who are deprived of the treatment and amenities that ‘we' should receive. Early interactions with non-neurotypical individuals normalised the concept to me that certain people have quirks or habits that may not resemble my own. The brain is akin to an ocean, it is uncharted territory that is not completely understood by individuals and hides secrets that are yet to be uncovered. It is unjust to box this super-machine with infinite capability into identical, restrictive containers. The world is filled with unique individuals and while we may have come a long way in the acceptance of individuals with varied physical appearances, we have yet to accept those who different from us neurologically. A moment that sticks with me took place when I was in ninth grade. The toll of the bell had indicated that we were free to go to the cafeteria to grab something to eat. On the food counter was a boy with autism who was working the counter to gain work experience. Unlike my usual, unsocial self I decided to strike up a conversation with him. Once I returned to my unofficially designated seat, I was bombarded with questions about my interaction with him by a friend of mine. This friend expressed her disbelief at my conversation, her primary question was 'why would I want to talk to him?'. This friend was considered social and accepting of all people, she was even working with students with autism for a project, which is why it shocked me to see her react this way, to take this fellow human as an alien creature who we could share no connection with. I came to the conclusion that dissimilarity scares us- the creatures of conformity. We very easily discard those who don't conform to our idea of normalcy. These preconceived notions make people tag non-neurotypical individuals as mentally deranged r dumb. This bubbling cauldron of emotions triggered me to work towards the acceptance of non-neurotypical individuals so that some day the need to ask the question that my friend had does not arise.


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Bernard Jan

Award-winning, multi-genre author, novelist,...

Zagreb, Croatia