No, this is not from the TV series called “The Real World”, that was my sister’s favorite and I couldn’t understand why. Too much drama.
For the last few weeks, a thought keeps flitting back into my mind every once in a while. What is the real world and how do I view the real world? When I was growing up, I was often told (and I am sure that many of us deaf and hard of hearing can attest to that) “You will be working in the Hearing World.” This was quite overdone melodramatically… until a few years ago and more recently.
What constitutes a Hearing World? It is just a majority of the people whom we work with, live with, or have a conversation with; however, we are forgetting one component. The Hearing people do need to work with the Deaf people, thus comes to what is termed appropriately and without further dramatic ado “the Real World”.
Black people work with White people and vice versa.
Asians work with Europeans and vice versa.
Hearing people work with Deaf people and vice versa.
A person who walks works with a wheelchair user and vice versa.
A musician works with a songwriter and vice versa.
A bumblebee works with a flower and vice versa.
The sun works with the earth and vice versa.
American Sign Language users work with English speakers and vice versa.
The list is countless and priceless. The reality is just this… this is the real world. The nature of ‘hearing world’ and the notion of geographical boundaries are social constructs. Society further wishes us to divide ourselves further to create constant war in the name of the fictional ‘social ideal world’. You may be hearing or deaf, I still have to work with you. You may be black (African-American), Asian, Native Indian or white, I still can work with you.
Welcome to the Real World.