“The pursuit of normality is the ultimate sacrifice of potential.” – Faith Jegede
Faith grew up with two autistic brothers. It reshaped her understanding of beauty and of what we call “normal.” She recalls, “I cannot remember the first moment I encountered autism, but I cannot recall a day without it.”
When you live with something, or someone, day in and day out like that, there’s no escaping it; there’s no turning a blind eye to it; there’s no avoiding it. There’s only facing it, seeing it, and dealing with it in all its rawness and unfiltered truth.
She describes her brothers’ pure, innocent nature and how they uniquely saw the world without prejudice. She describes the difficulties and the joy of their lives and her life. She had to choose every day to embrace it all. The good, the bad, and the wonderful.
Her message is simple. “Normality overlooks the beauty that differences give us.”
We spend so much time trying to be normal, trying to look normal, trying to fit in. It makes us feel comfortable, it removes the fear of being humiliated, and it can also limit and suppress our ability to grow and expand our unique abilities, talents, and individuality.
You don’t have to live up to society’s version of normal, but you owe it to yourself to live up to the highest, truest, most alive version of you. As Faith puts it, “The chance for greatness, for progress and for change dies the moment we try to be like someone else.”
There is a wonderful quote that’s attributed to Howard Thurman:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
What makes you come alive? What makes you uniquely you? This is where your true beauty lies. This is where your true strength lies. Don’t sacrifice your unique potential to pursue being normal. We all have more to offer than that.
How do you stay inspired to live your fullest? Share your comments below!
Photo credit: Faith Jegede