I’ve been thinking again about the pernicious power of the word normal. The idea that there is some acceptable way that we should be in the world, or that other people should, is the source of so much misery.

How many teenagers have killed themselves because they didn’t fit in to other people’s idea of how they could be? How many genocides have been committed because other people have not been “normal” like us?

And yet it is all made up. There is no such thing as normal. We are all different and we all see the world differently. The sooner we realise that the happier we will all be.

2 thoughts on “Normal

  1. Recently, having lost a nephew to suicide last year, I’ve started to notice something else, not so much the pressure to be normal, but the pressure to be better. I’ve seen too many pictures posted by mothers and fathers of their children lost to suicide, and there seems to be a common feature, that these people have spent a lot of time on their appearance. Not a hair out of place, white teeth, sometimes plastic surgery at a young age or things like fillers. Tattoos, and other body modifications. Perhaps this becomes “normal” when you are obsessed by body image. It certainly seems to be driving a great many mental health problems. Lots to think about.

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    1. It’s so sad. I reckon it’s about meeting expectations, your own or other people’s, and the pressure that causes. I bought both of my daughters “If you should fail” by Joe Moran. They are both hoping to take to the stage and it is a brutal industry where you are constantly setting yourself up for rejection.


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