Normal - who me?

[Nov 23, 2008]


Howdy again all -

I realize that I am back sooner than usual, but my dear friend DisgruntledGurl tossed a gauntlet in my general direction in asking me to define [shudder] normal. Since I dislike clutter, I chose to pick it up. So I put all my toys away and broke out the books. Semantics for fun and profit.

I did a little research and what appeared to be (for me) the most well rounded or accepted usage was according to YourDictionary. com. The primary in-context standard for the word "normal" is defined as: 1. Conforming with or constituting an accepted standard, model, or pattern; esp., corresponding to the median or average of a large group in type, appearance, achievement, function, development, etc.; natural; usual; standard; regular

Notice that the first part says Conforming with or constituting an accepted standard, model, or pattern. Ok - so we don't do this so well. But notice that there is a pivotal word in the definition: "accepted". This means that to be normal we have to conform to our current society's opinion as to what "normal" is. Yuk.

The second part of the current definition is: esp., corresponding to the median or average of a large group in type, appearance, achievement, function, development, etc. This means we need to fit into the the center of the gaussian distribution of the sample of society we are defining as a reference. Kinda like little robots, we all do average things with our average lives, not breaking out of the mold or thinking outside the box that society wants to put us in. Pah.

The last part is the synonyms: natural; usual; standard; regular. Notice that these are often the exact opposites of how I act. I was unnatural, unusual, non-standard and irregular. Not acceptable to the current societal mindset. Yeah, so?

I see the confusion as lying in the formulation of the model or standard. It is developed by people that are normal to define what they believe is the appearance of normality. an oxymoron at best. All through history there have been people that used their own definition of normal to get what they wanted or tried to force others to conform to. For most it didn't work and they paid a heavy price.

This was pretty dry reading, and I apologize.

So being normal is being whatever your particular society today views as acceptable behavior. Whoops! Rewind that one and play it again. Talk about a sea of shifting sands. Does anyone see something wrong with this?

When we were out there drinking and drugging, we were not normal. Now that we are not drinking and drugging we are not normal. We will never be "normal". We appear to only have two places we can fit in the gaussian distribution (bell curve). On the bottom or on the top. Trying to stay in the middle of the curve is usually called relapse.

I've seen the bottom, so now I'll try to climb to the top.

My stand. I don't want to be normal. I'm me, a unique creation. When He made me, he broke the mold. IMHO so are all you, my friends. A blessing I treasure every day...

Nuff said,
Dennis

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