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No one is normal

Are you normal? Do you want to be? Before you answer that, it might be a good idea to define normal.

Normal is one of those words that has a lot of definitions that might surprise you. Mathematical. Scientific. Statistical. Psychological. I'm guessing, though, that you think normal means, well, normal. As in this definition: according to, constituting, or not deviating from an established norm, rule, or principle : conformed to a type, standard, or regular pattern : not abnormal : regular.

So, regular. Like everyone else. You know. Normal.

I discovered this wonderful axiom -- no one is normal -- on a website called The School of Life founded by British philosopher Alain de Botton. They conduct classes, distribute newsletters and videos and they sell great stuff. I bought five Christmas gifts there this year, not to mention one or two things for myself!

But back to the point. It's true. No one is normal. Sure, you can find averages. The average human female is 5'4"; male -- 5'9". How's that make you feel? Better? Worse? Normal, or close to it? Earth's average temperature in November 2021 was 53.8 degrees F. How does that compare with your Thanksgiving temp last year? I could go on but the point is obvious. Averages are not normal. There's no normal old person, no normal college graduate, no normal student, parent. There's no normal way to die or live. There's no normal way to imagine, to believe or to think.

When you hear yourself or someone you love wishing they could be more normal, fine-tune your attention. Normal, in that case, might be a wish to feel better, to feel more equilibrium or less anxiety or fear. It might belie a concern with appearances or effort based on unrealistic assumptions. No matter what, wishing to be normal means comparing yourself to others, and those others, their characteristics or traits, are probably imagined, mythical, stereotypical or unrealistic.

There is no normal. Average does not equal normal. You are not average, and like it or not, you are not normal. Whatever is challenging you right now, just keep working on it. Make progress. Resist comparing yourself to others. There is no new normal coming. There is no old normal we left behind. There has never been a normal. And, no one is normal.

There is you. You have good days. You have bad days. Do your best. Do you. Do your best you. That is true.

I wish you peace and love for the coming week.


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