Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Normal

Normal .  .  .

according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle
- conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
     - occurring naturally

That's from the Merriam-Webster dictionary .  .  .  So, let's work with that .  .  .
To give some background re:this post .  .  .  I've long since come to the conclusion that "normal" is in many ways, meaningless as a term and concept .  .  .  I realize that statisticians love the concept of normal, and so do people who seek to control others .  .  .  But, I'm in neither camp .  .  .  I despised stats in college, and have absolutely no desire to control anyone other than myself .  .  .
The lexicon of the language changes constantly, and we hear over and over things like "moving forward" and "prioritizing" and "the new normal" .  .  .  What? Did we get tired of the old normal?  Did it become obsolete?  Did we become bored with it, and just say, to hell with it, let's do something new and exciting normal?  Or, was the "old normal" just an illusion, as the "new normal" will be until it also is replaced by something else?
When we think about it, "normal" constantly changes .  .  .  Society can undergo change slowly over time, or it can experience tremendous upheaval .  .  .  Either way, nothing ever stays the same .  .  .  It evolves, just as individuals evolve .  .  . 
What is normal?  If someone asked me that, I'd have a very difficult time coming up with something that is accurate .  .  .  In a broad general sense, maybe we can agree on a few things, such as it's normal not to kill, normal not to steal, normal not to want to hurt people, and so on .  .  .  I DO hope the vast majority of people feel that killing and stealing and hurting should be avoided for the good of all .  .  .  But we all know that for some, killing and stealing and hurting are very much their usual behaviors .  .  .  Does that make killing and stealing and hurting normal then in some way?  And that thing about killing gets really difficult when we consider the "eye for an eye" approach of capital punishment .  .  .  Or, the human need and drive to go to war to protect what's ours, or to take what isn't ours, but which we want .  .  .
One can go round and round in discussing what's "normal" societally .  .  .  But, let's switch gears and bring it down to the individual level .  .  .  Let's talk about me, since I'm the expert on me .  .  .  I don't feel qualified to discuss any other human being, because I can't get inside their head and lick their brain and know what they truly think and feel .  .  .  
The question becomes, am I normal?  Well, what is the context?  Are we talking about behavior?  I don't kill and I don't steal and I try very hard not to hurt anyone in any way .  .  .  I've never been arrested, don't have a record, and have never sat in the back of a squad car while the people in uniform tried to break down my story .  .  .  Let's say I'm normal in that sense .  .  .  So that's good, don't you think?  But what about what goes on in my head?  What about the thoughts I'm experiencing, and then the resulting emotions, and maybe the behaviors I act out as a result of the thoughts and emotions?  Are they normal?  Are they abnormal?  I could have some sick thoughts, but never speak of them and never act on them .  .  .  Would I then appear "normal" in a behavioral sense, but be abnormal and twisted in a thinking sense?  It can get murky .  .  .
When people speak of normal, I become a bit nervous, because so much of what is considered normal can be used to control .  .  .  Monogamy is normal, so anything outside of that is abnormal .  .  .  That's used to control behavior, it scares me, and it's just one example .  .  .  Belief in one concept of God is normal in some cultures, so anything outside of that is abnormal .  .  .  That gave us the Inquisition, and other atrocities in the name of God, or the "normal" concept of God at the time the atrocities were committed .  .  .  It exists today as well .  .  .  If I go to, say Pakistan as an example, and I run through the streets of Islamabad or Karachi or any other city, town or village clutching a Bible or Torah or copy of the Upanishads and espouse what's in any of those, I'll end up among the deceased pretty quickly .  .  .  So, normal is so much about control of thought and as an extension, behavior .  .  .  THAT scares the shit out of me, because I don't want to be controlled!
There's another post to be written on the topic of "normal" from a more personal viewpoint, and this one has gone on long enough .  .  .  But, think about it .  .  .  And ask, what is normal?  Maybe, it's normal to be bored to tears after reading this!  Hah!
As always .  .  .  Life is beautiful baby!

Peace and love .  .  .
Until next time .  .  .  Ciao!!       


Sandra said...

Great post Mr. Le Snake!
I'm normal about 23 days of the month. The other seven, I'm pretty sure, under the right circumstances I could commit a crime, thus, by societal terms, I would be considered abnormal.
You are tremendously introspective. For a mind to go to those profound places, you probably have to turn off the tv, huh?

Snake said...

Thanks for the comment Sandra, you narcissist you! lol You're a mom with four kids, so whatever crime you'd commit, likely you'd get away with it, 'cause no one would suspect you . . . I think you're gonna be OK on that one . . . Maybe even a crime SPREE! Is there a blogging idea there? Crimes I'd like to commit . . . Feel free to use that . . . Introspective is part of my Pisces nature, and it's good, as long as it isn't head-up-butt introspection . . . What's TV? Hah! Again, thanks for the comment . . .

Green Eyed Frenchy said...

You are so right, when people can put a tag on you, or put you in a box with a label on it, they feel reassured, but when they cannot fit you in any category, you are not normal and they get scared, they cannot control you.

Snake said...

Frenchy . . . Like you, I despise being labelled, and being controlled . . . So, that makes me abnormal, and I love it! Thank you so much for taking time to comment . . . Peace and love . . .