Is being “normal” — whatever that means to you — a good thing, or a bad thing? Neither?
“Normal” is one of the most cruel words ever thought up by man. Because “Normal” says there is a standard against which you are being measured. Inside certain parameters you get the green light- you are acceptable to family/ your teacher’s expectations/ society in general. But if you are an individual, with your own point of view, you are falling outside the boundaries of “Normal”, and you become “abnormal”- and that is not good for your standing in society. But who decides what is normal and what not? What if the society is wrong about what “normal” means? Who will then dare to stand up against “normal”, and change the system? This one comes very close to my skin. Because I grew up white in South Africa. Apartheid was “normal” in our society. It was abnormal to question how society operated. It took even me years to discover: we were wrong. We had the abnormal point of view. And for all my years of blindness to injustice, I am very sorry. I believed “normal” because it was the way to do things. I have to adjust from an abnormal view to a normal one- a society in which everyone has equal value, and equal opportunities. I am afraid that my country is still not there. My sons will have the legacy that they will forever hear the words that they may not desire to be managers, or senior officers of the army, or get a loan to buy a farm… because they are white… We are not yet at “normal” where everybody has the same opportunities because of what they are putting into education, and hard work. Society has not reached “normal” yet, and probably will not in my lifetime. Who will stand up and change the system again?
Enough heavy stuff- that was just my fingers running automatically over the keyboard.
“Normal” is good. But you have to make certain of what you accept as “normal”. Normal is good in this sense- on a normal day I do not experience any pain. On a normal day I work to provide for my family. On a normal day I do have enough to eat, and I sleep in a warm bed. On a normal day there is so little time for doing fun stuff with my kids, reading as much as I would like to. On a normal day I do not get the chance to take one of my motorbikes out for a spin.
Normal is good. But normal can become very boring. Normal has the ability to trap you in golden cages of comfort. And then you become like the old circus lion, all your needs are provided for, but the light in your eyes is slowly dying out. You long to be free, you long, you accept, you are, you die.
We need “Abnormal” to make the “Normal” worth living. That is why I travel. That is why I like to hike in wild nature. I need the times that are uncomfortable, so that I can appreciate my warm bed at home. I need to eat hiking food, to appreciate good home cooking. I need to get wet and cold and miserable, to appreciate all the good times that I take for granted, and never see how privileged I truly am.
Abnormal teaches us such valuable lessons in life. It teaches us to question normality, and make us set much higher standards for what we accept as normal.
Does this writing make any sense at all? For some people were shot in my country for much less…