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We Are More Alike Than Unalike.

By Aaniya Jaffer, Youth Ambassador

Returning to the topic of inclusion and diversity, I recently stumbled upon a true gem: a poem that conveyed exactly what my mind had envisioned. From a general perspective, we tend to focus on the one major abnormal dissimilarity that stands out between us and children with speech impairments. However, we often overlook the myriad of shared human experiences that connect us on a deeper level. It's as if we've been so engrossed in watching one star that we miss the constellations shimmering around it.

Speaking of stars, let's talk about Maya Angelou, a remarkable activist, speaker, poet, and storyteller who tirelessly fought to break down the barriers of our rigid society. Maya is an embodiment of courage and cannot be ignored. So, you might have encountered her name in a classroom where literature takes a whole new level of elegance, or perhaps you have dared to venture into her books and poems, which are like a one-way ticket to the heart and soul. Let me tell you that when Maya speaks, the universe gathers to listen because her words are like little sparks of magic that can illuminate even the darkest corners of your mind.

As I delved into one of her most renowned works, the poem, "We Are More Alike Than Unalike," armed with a cup of coffee and a heart full of curiosity, it felt like stepping into a world where 'different' was more than simply a word in a foreign language. I realized that the poem was more than just words; it was a transformative catalyst, igniting a revelation of the striking similarities that bond us with these children. It was like a cosmic reminder that beneath the surface, we are all connected by emotions and experiences.

Diving deeper into the lines, it hit me that this whole concept of being 'normal' is nothing short of an illusion. Who defines what is normal anyway? To fit into the mold of 'normal,' we would all need to conform to the same behaviors, virtues, and traits, contradicting the essence of individuality itself. Our understanding of normalcy is subjective and constantly evolving. Maya's words acted like a mirror, reflecting the beauty of diversity in all its hues.

Our quirks, our perspectives, our stories—they're all threads in the tapestry of humanity. And the poem? It stood tall, asserting that our varying communication abilities or disabilities don't dampen the glimmering ocean of similarities that bind us together as human beings.

So, let's toss out that 'normal' label and embrace the magic of being uniquely us. Maya’s whispers of wisdom remind us that it is in our differences we find the true essence of beauty and meaning. All in all, our communication styles may vary, but the connection between us humans? It's as strong as ever, like an unbreakable thread, stitching us together in this grand adventure called life.

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