Tuesday, August 21, 2012

There is No Such Thing as Normal

I had a really interesting conversation the other day with a friend of mine.  She has two beautiful boys.  She used to introduce herself and her family by saying who she was, saying who her oldest son was and then stating that he has autism.  One day she realized, even if he wasn’t with her, she felt compelled to state he had autism.  She decided that day to just say she has two sons.  

Why is it she felt the need to almost apologize or explain her son’s condition?  I think it’s because as humans were overly focused on what is “normal”.  Anything out of the usual stands out.  The problem is that I can’t really find normal.  We’re all weird.  Just some of us have a better facade than others. 

That’s the conclusion my friend and I came to – there is no normal.

Some of us, like her son, have more obvious unique characteristics; however, all of us have those eccentricities that make us out of the norm.  It might be your superstitions, or your anxieties, or your ritual for going to bed at night.  Some of us live and breathe by the number of comments we get on Facebook while others spend their time waving their hands around screaming look at me!  Then there are those of us that just want to hide. 
School starts back this week here in NC.  Many have already started back.  One thing I remember hating about school back in my day was the cliques and always worrying what someone might decide to pick on me for.  Too smart, too dumb, too pretty, too ugly, four-eyes, brace face, walks funny, talks funny – you name it.  Kids have a way of finding those little quirks and exposing them to the world.  The meaner ones do it so that it makes them look more normal by making their prey look, gasp, weird. 

Why do we spend so much time trying to fit in?  I'm a democrat, I’m a Republican, I’m a Christian, I’m a Muslim.  Sure, there are times when labels fit the bill, but I think it’s important to embrace our differences not let them separate us from one another.  Are we just grown up bullies, or are we people ready to embrace the fact there is no normal and enjoy our differences?

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