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    Atypical

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    “How does it feel to be Different from me. Are we the same? How does it feel?” – A song that is old, but its meaning just took me back.

    Netflix has recently had an influx of amazingly good shows. One of them, being “Atypical”. The show revolves around a teenage boy suffering from autism. However, he does not seem to be gravely afflicted by its effects, instead he embraces it and demonstrates the world that autism does not always look like some person on drugs. In the series, Sam (the main protagonist), is brutally honest and seems completely aware but indifferent of how his peers view him. He faces normal teenage boy conflicts, such as sex, relationships and family drama; but with the help of his friend, Zahid, he tends to resolve everything. In one episode, when he and his girlfriend, Paige, have problems. He expresses that he does not always know when someone is upset with him, but that he learns fast. The scene ends with him kissing her in French class and it is quite an adorable scene to watch.

    But all of this got me thinking, well, reminiscing. Are we truly any different, or are we more similar than we think, or would like to think? After all, we are born savages (An amazing film which should be talked about), with the primal extinct of survive and kill all if necessary to survive. We learn that certain actions are bad, and others are against the norm, we are even taught to not even think a certain way. If you look back, do you remember showing remorse, or were you taught to have remorse when you wronged someone. When we said something “insensitive”, we were told that, even though it were true, we were not to say it. We learned to keep our insulting thought to ourselves (which I agree on), because it would avoid unneeded conflict. As a child, I learned to feel guilty, sad, ashamed, to show empathy and not be indifferent (even if it did not always work out). Of course, is not to say that there are a few people who naturally are more empathetic, but these people are a few.

    Looking at this many, almost overwhelming scenes of children being bullied makes me ask myself; Did we truly not have bullied growing up, or were we all simply just viscous to each other and did not care? I remember us hazing each other for pranks and to mess about. However, I never felt we bullied each other, after all how could we. I personally think bullies only exist because people let them exist. Maybe try sticking up for yourself once in a while or just not give a flying fig what others, who do not matter, think about you. In the end, their opinions should be of no relevance to you. But, then, I question whether we truly are different. What makes some of us fight back or not tolerate such hostility, while others cower? In biology we learned about fight and flight response, but never who or what causes one or the other.

    In the end, could we survive in someone else’s shoes? How does the environment play a role in this response and can that response be replicated to out children? For one day, even out of curiosity, I would like to see how it is to be someone else. How would it feel, to explore whether or not we are truly different or do we just respond 100% to stimuli.