In these days, there’s a lot of buzz around the commercial with Checco Zalone for the fundraising to support the research about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), promoted by Famiglie SMA no-profit organization.
Contrary to what usually happens in this kind of initiatives, the commercial with Checco Zalone doesn’t use pietistic tones, but leverages something the Apulian comedian is famous for: his ability to be desecrating. In the commercial, Zalone complains about his neighbour’s excesses. What’s new? The neighbour he’s talking about is Mirko, a kid with SMA who’s just moved to the building, forcing Zalone to modify his own habits: he loses his parking spaces, gets late at work or misses his flight because, due to architectonical barriers, the kid’s father has to do thousands of manoeuvres to enable him getting from the car to home and vice versa, can’t sleep because Mirko plays ‘til late with videogames, etc.
Mirko, in the commercial, isn’t described as a “poor guy” to help for pity, but as an “obstacle”: Zalone decides to fund the research wishing that, this way, Mirko gets better and sets him free from the issues he causes.
Does it mean that the commercial with Checco Zalone is “unfair”? In my opinion, it’s exactly the opposite. Because it’s exactly this way we’d have to look at disability: enough with a limited-time compassion (which, very often, doesn’t change anything), welcome “normality”!
We don’t have to support the scientific research due to “pity”, but to help people that, for the better or for the worse, are exactly like everyone else. Then, maybe, also to “selfishly” solve a problem. The same approach should be adopted when looking at architectonical and cultural barriers, that daily limit the life of many people, both disabled and not: their removal wouldn’t have to be a “courtesy” towards to people or categories to feel sorry for, but the outcome of the awareness that, without them, the world we’re all living in would definitely be better. For everyone.