What differs us from others is how we conduct ourselves toward others with decency, with nobility and class.
There has been a popular opinion among much of the hearing world that Deaf people are aggressive individuals- particularly the Deaf who are well educated. I have roundly disagreed with this misconception.
Two years ago, I penned down an article in my blog and asserted that deaf people are not combative people. I have believed that deaf people have been largely misunderstood. This miscalculation is not good for us; it is not good for the hearing world, either. This is because we want to make sure that we aren’t stoking a fire that’s otherwise already stoked and fiery. That’s not the way to bring everyone together.
I have been a fortunate man, and never more so for all the astonishing deaf friends and acquaintances that I have had. They are some of the coolest, kindest and calmest people anyone can hope for- in the deaf and hearing world. Where the notion that deaf people are aggressive has come from, I do not know and do not care.
What I care about, however, is a talk about a refined, beautiful way that the deaf can respond to inappropriate attitudes that are shown to us by the hearing world. I believe that it’s the hearing world themselves who are aggressive toward deaf people.
As decent and cultured as I am, In Nigeria, I cannot count the number of times that hearing people have treated me badly without any iota of decency or appropriateness that are deserving for people with disabilities on their part. We have been awfully disrespected. And we have, like any other normal person, been frustrated by the continually indecent and disrespectful attitude that people have shown us as we navigate about rightly and legally the in the jungle world where everyone is looking out for their own interest.
Yet, how are we to respond with negativity for the same negativity that they have interacted with us? Or are we to incorporate positivity and decency in response to the disrespectful attitude that we get shown day, day out? Well, we are going to choose the latter. We will respond with positivity. As hard as it is going to be- in the heat of those unbelievable moments- moments when we are tested, moments when we are run over with looks of disdain and contempt in the face of people, we will choose to be positive. It is what differs us from others.
When people go low with us, we are going to choose to go high. Rather than be react with frustration and aggression, we will choose to be self-assertive yet diplomatic.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce a communication strategy that I have called “Diplomatic Communication”. This is the system that we are going to use for the hearing world in the face of every negativity that is thrown at us.
Diplomatic communication is self-assertiveness!