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Puzzling paradox

October 20, 2012

Impairment is part of the normal human population. Actually, the word impairment is culturally derived. A more correct way to say what I just attempted to say is “Difference and variation is normal in the human population.”

There is a tension between what we admire and to what we aspire. In my uni-lingual, working/middle class, North American of northern European descent culture, I have not heard ‘ordinary’ or ‘regular’ used to praise someone. I hear ‘unique’ and ‘innovative’ as words to praise someone and their work. Yet, when the majority of us see a person who is unique to us – for example: uses a small machine for communication rather than their voice – most of us don’t go “Wow, you are interesting. Please tell me more about yourself?” Most of us stare because we are attracted to ‘unique’ but we walk away because we don’t want to be associated with someone who is – well – innovative.

I find this a puzzling paradox. I will be thinking about this more and hopefully writing about this more. Any of your thoughts about this paradox are very welcome.


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