‘Normal’ Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

'Normal' Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

Here in the U.S., April is National Autism Awareness Month. I’m reminded of a day not very long ago when I found myself googling the word “faith” – as I do from time to time, to see what undiscovered things I might learn or find inspiring – and the following amazing video came up in the results.

Faith Jegede Cole is a Washington, D.C., resident (by way of London), who advocates for causes including free speech, civil rights and women’s equality. But what she’s most known for is raising awareness about the lives of people with autism. Here’s her widely praised TED Talk, all about what she learned from her two brothers with autism, Samuel and Remi. Really, it’s about what we all can learn whenever departures from “normal” happen to occur in our own lives. Have a listen:


A radio broadcaster and PhD student, Jegede Cole is the former host of a U.K. talk show. To appreciate more of her perspective as the sibling of two family members living with autism, have a look at her beautiful public service announcement titled “Will You Show Love to Someone Extraordinary Today?” (filmed for Autism Awareness Month), in which she hardly speaks a word:

This compassionate sibling is correct when she reminds us: Whoever we are, and whatever our life circumstances may be, each of us has gifts within us. And those gifts are worthy of genuine celebration.

Brad Hirschfield

Brad Hirschfield is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Brad has been featured on ABC's Nightline UpClose, PBS's Frontline, Fox News and National Public Radio. He wrote a long-standing column, "For God's Sake," for the Washington Post, and has also written for The Huffington Post and Beliefnet.com. He authored the book, You Don?t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism. Brad also serves as President of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.

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