1 in 10,000 people worldwide has Williams Syndrome. It is a congenital condition characterized by medical problems, learning disabilities and developmental delays. Individuals with this condition, however, have shown outstanding verbal skills, highly social characteristics and extreme interest in music. (Williams Syndrome Association)

Through Oliver Sacks’ documentary about Williams Syndrome, the public saw a different aspect in the lives of individuals having the condition. We might not, bluntly, admit it, people with Williams Syndrome do not surpass our general spectrum of ‘normality’. Because they are different and ‘not normal’, we see them as persons with disability. Their distinct features and characteristics are considered odd enough for them to be separated from the rest of the crowd.  Sacks introducing us to a different perspective of Williams Syndrome made us realize how special and, in some aspects, better humans they are than most of the population. The documentary showed that individuals with Williams Syndrome should not just be defined by their limitations but their remarkable qualities. They are good story tellers, musically inclined and highly sociable. They express compassion to others so much better than most of us are ever capable of. Despite of all their deficiencies, they still enjoy more, share more and love more than we do. We, usually, see them as inferior beings compared to us but if they know how to value life more than we do, then maybe, in some level of humanity, we, people without the syndrome, are actually inferior to them.

Would the world become a better place if all of us had Williams Syndrome? Obviously not. Although, the world could be a better place in the future if we all show a little compassion. If we only knew how to communicate with each other the way individuals with Williams Syndrome do, maybe there would not be any disputes against countries, less misunderstanding, less crime and have a safer world  for all of us to live in. Instead of feeing empathy towards people and wishing that they are as normal as us, we could take a good look at how they function as human beings and learn a thing or two from them.


-Elleine Allapitan


Sources: Williams Syndrome Association (https://williams-syndrome.org/what-is-williams-syndrome)