I was going to write a post about breaking ranks, about the challenge of acting differently in the workplace and bringing about true change. This challenge is too intimidating for most and the pressure to fit into whatever is considered “normal” is enormous.

I then read a friend’s Facebook post about his wonderful daughter and noticed that he had changed his profile picture to an image that says “I Love Someone Rare”. I have just spent the last five minutes trying to remember what disability his daughter is challenged with so that I could put that appropriate “abnormal” label on her in the previous paragraph. I then realised that “wonderful” is the only appropriate way to describe her!

Then I got thinking again about Trump and the terrifying sense of being “normal” that his supporters have and their apparent willingness to demonise anyone who they see as not being normal. He is tapping into the instinct to not only cling to normality but to aggressively assert it over those who challenge it.

Normality is overrated. In fact it is dangerous. It erodes our ability to be our true selves as individuals, can cause unhappiness in those who through no fault of their own are “not normal”, and gives us the tribal excuse to behave appallingly to our fellow man.

Be very wary of normality and its proactive proponents.

2 thoughts on “Normality

  1. Very well said, Euan and thank you for being someone who is not afraid even to publish stuff like this.
    As you importantly point out, most people cave into the pressures to conform, not only to the need to appear ‘normal’, but not to tolerate deviation.
    Closing of ranks and adoption of superiority are extremely odious, apart from the sheer pig-headed blindness to the infinite value of diversity and the opportunities that are wasted as a consequence.


    1. Thanks Martin. Yep, the amount of misery caused by trying to fit in is enormous and, as you say, the inclination to shut things down and control life seems futile and a form of madness!


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