Is There Truly Such a Thing as Normal?

By Ethan Rampersaud

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

“Normal” is a widely used term. Along with “ordinary,” this term describes a circumstance of sameness, where it feels like everything is what it should be. President Warren G. Harding described a period of “Normalcy” after World War I. However, in our imperfect and human world, there is no such thing as “normal.”

Normal is an idealistic term. In other words, it is what people want, but it is not feasible to attain. Every day is not the same; there is no typical day. Every day is different in various ways.

No person can be considered normal. Usually, people apply this term to people without any defects or disabilities. Whether a person has disabilities or not is not the only property that sets us apart as humans. As humans, we may have different faces, different opinions, different tastes.  Some may be more skilled in some subjects than others, and some may be proficient in all topics and aspects of life (but not perfect).

Going back to Warren’s idea of “Normalcy,” was America ever normal? Did we stay the same as we did in 1776, driving horse-drawn carriages and dying of disease? The answer is no. We evolved in our thoughts and ideas for over 200 years, and we have found solutions to disease, hunger, transportation, and communication.  We did not sit down with the same technology and allow time to pass by. We did not say, “We are satisfied with our technology.” We did not say, “We are satisfied with life as it is.” We wanted more. Intuitive and ambitious thinkers replied to this idea by developing advanced technology: the lightbulb, the television, the computer, and so forth.

We are not normal. There is no usual day. There is only us and the world.

 

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