I had an interesting conversation with a client the other day. There was probably a lot of background chatter that led us to start discussing….normal.
Funny, because for a long time, I have thought I might be in the minority thinking I had a different definition of normal. In fact, I don’t really think that the definition ‘normal’ is one that people take into account on a regular basis.
We often describe people as normal (or… not normal). But as part of my discussion with the client the other day, the word normal is, for the most part, irrelevant.
What is normal? Not much. There are things that are routine, but that doesn’t make it normal. We (society?) might think that shaving, for example, is normal. But they are likely places in the world where people don’t shave. Does that make them abnormal? No, it probably just makes them culturally different or some phrase similar to that.
When you are brought up or raised to be or do something in a certain way, that becomes normal for you. And during this conversation the other day, it occurred to me that normal is really just an extension of culture. Meaning that different cultures, different regions, different people, will always have a different definition of what is normal to them. Normal might be what we have been exposed to or what you have seen around you. But, if you really think about it, normal is different for everybody.
So I said earlier that I thought that I might be in the minority in my thoughts of what normal is. Turns out, the client I was speaking with also thought that ‘normal’ does not accurately describe most things, either.
For example, the client recalled a book she had read. In this book, a person was quoted to have said that for many years, she thought it “was normal to eat from a trashcan”. Because of being homeless, that was how she was raised. She didn’t know any different until later on in her life. You might read that and think eating from a trashcan is not normal. But perhaps what you’re thinking is that it is not acceptable for you, that is not how you were raised, that society ‘frowns’ upon that, etc. And that might not be untrue. But for this person quoted from a book, this behavior was normal for her.
When you think about all the people you meet, everyone you encounter, they will all have varying experiences. Your normal is not their normal. And if we can remember that, perhaps we stop judging other people based only on our own experiences. And maybe we can remember to hear the other person from their perspective. To understand what their normal is. It could very well be the same perspective as your own. And it could easily be out of your comfort zone.
So maybe I’m not in the majority when it comes to “normal” thoughts. That is ok with me. I’ve long ago accepted that I’m kind of a weird person. But that’s what makes me, me. I like me, even if I’m not conventional. I think you would like me too, if we ever get a chance to chat. ;)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.