What makes us human? What is humanity? Some people seem to be without it. But being a human is actually relatively simple. It's having a heart and a mind. Humanity is much more complex. Compassion. Goodness. Tolerance. Understanding. Kindness. Sympathy. Lenience. Some people have none of these qualities and yet they are still classed as humans.
If growing up with my disabled brother, Josh, has taught me one thing, it's that a lot of people have zero humanity or humaneness in their entire bodies. My brother and mum at his prom. 2017.
You have absolutely no control over your race, ability or disability, gender, sexual orientation or personal defects. But you have complete control over your humanity. You can choose to be a nasty, aggressive person or a kind, compassionate one.
Every time we travel on a bus or train with my brother we are exposed to staring, aggressive gestures, people covering their ears, sighing, and making aggressive or abusive comments to us and him.
We have zero control over his disability, sure he can be a little loud at times, he rocks about with glee. But do you know what? He has more humanity than 75% of people you meet everyday. Josh and my boyfriend Luke. 2015.
The starers I can understand a few times, they are probably just curious, concerned even. But those of you who make disgusting, evil, vile comments about him being a 'disgrace', 'nightmare', or in some cases 'a curse on society'… yes people do use those words.
It's very disturbing. It upsets and angers my family and myself.
In case you were wondering. My brother is a 19-year-old happy-go-lucky nutcase, much like the rest of the family. He likes music, holding hands, staring into your eyes so much it's like he hugs your soul, eating lots, spending time with friends and family, and being outside. He also happens to have a chromosome disorder which is pretty rare, doesn't have an official name like Multiple Sclerosis or Downs Sydrome. It's called Chromosome 20P/Q disorder. (They were never quite sure whether it was his P or Q that had an extra bit of awesome on the end.)Me, Josh, and our sister Sarah. 2016.
Next time you catch yourself staring at a disabled person, or anyone who is 'different' to you, just remember you both have a heart and mind. And maybe you both even have some humanity too.
Give them a smile. Make everyone's day nicer.