The Differences We have in Common
I am a geek. I am emotional. I can be obsessive, over-protective, and even clingy. At one time or another I feel like I am a nuisance to everybody. I watch Doctor Who religiously (along with other Sci-Fi shows) and tend to relate it to everything, which really annoys a lot of people. I guess what I am saying is that I am not your stereotypical teenager. That covers my personality. To complicate things, when I was 6 years old, I was diagnosed with ADHD and later with Aspherger Syndrome. So my question to everybody is, who cares? I bet everybody will answer that it doesn’t matter but saying it and showing it are two different things.
So let’s look at the whole instead of just me. We are not all the same. We have differences in every aspect of our lives. However, I have noticed that some people don’t like differences. I’m going to focus on the kids simply because, well, I’m a kid and that’s what I see every day. I have a friend whose twin sister has Cerebral Palsy. She is confined to a wheel chair. She is also one of the coolest kids I have ever known.
She goes to the Joseph Sams School while her sister goes to a regular school. So, with this knowledge about both me and my friend, how do you think we feel when we see kids being made fun of because they are different? Sure, we get mad, but in all reality, our hands are tied. We can’t do anything to stop them. Regardless of anything we say, we have no power to change other people’s feelings.
Let me tell you a story. There is a girl in my school who has special needs. She lives a normal life, rides the bus to school, has friends, eats lunch with other people, and goes to classes as well. In some of her classes, she has modifications (just like I did for many years). A few girls didn’t like how she was treated “special” and started making fun of her behind her back. I guess that they feel like it is okay as long as she doesn’t hear it herself. Other girls didn’t like the way that people were talking about her but they didn’t want to speak up and stop the bullies. So, this girl goes on with her days at school not understanding why she is so different or why they dislike her so much. It didn’t matter if she heard them or not, in school, everybody knows.
This happens every day, and not just to the girls and boys who might have special needs. Both girls and boys everywhere are stepped on and taunted because they are “fat”, “short”, “nerdy”, or “strange”. They can laugh “too much” or be “too shy”! It doesn’t matter what the difference is, people will see it and point it out. There is a whole movement to “Stop Bullying-Speak Up”. Well, we speak up but we are never heard. People tend to think that the bullies are not here in our schools. We don’t see kids getting punched and beat up every day so it must not exist???? No, it is just different.
This is how we see it…not just at my school but everywhere and from adults as well as kids. After all, where do the kids learn it?
The fact is that I am different, we all are. That is what makes us great. We don’t wake up every day to make others happy. We wake up every day to be awesome. The fact is, the more you look at it, you can see just how fantastic you really are. And you know what, so am I. We’re all just stories in the end. Let’s make it a great one eh? In the end we will be able to say it was! It was the best!
[Samantha Frazier, who was a Fayette Middle School seventh-grader last year, has volunteered to write occasional opinion columns for The Citizen about her transfer to a new school this year.]