Several times a day now we hear someone mention about ‘things getting back to normal.’ I too have been thinking about ‘getting back to normal’, but the ceist keeps niggling my brain as to what is ‘normal’? Am I normal? (Ah Lads … please … children could be listening). I don’t know if I am normal – and if I am, which normal is it? Is it the contented normal of most days of my life – or is it the driven ‘normal’ that takes over when I see a challenge?

I have had many different ‘normals’ in my lifetime; so can somebody adjudicate as to which me was more normal – if any of me was ever normal?

To make it simple for you, the normal of my twenties was a different planet from the normal of my seventies. Could the mere fact that I question my own normality, prove that I am normal? You have all heard of ‘Catch 22’, where the guy is deemed to be sane because he had sufficient sanity to claim he was insane!

There are 7.8 Billion people on this earth and no two are identical. Can most of these people be normal and still all be different?

I suppose being accepted as normal by our peers means that our behaviour conforms to the most common behaviour in society. But is behaviour normal just because a large swath thinks it is? Is ‘Trumpism’ normal?

Remember that Germany was regarded as the most civilised country in the world when it twice voted Adolf Hitler into power. Now you see where we are heading: ‘Normal’ refers to never deviating from your average man in the street.

If our telepathic powers were so great that each of us always knew what the other person was thinking, we would all stay ‘shocked to the core.’ Nobody would be speaking to anyone and millions would feel justified in committing murder. We all have different thoughts, and yet most of us believe that we know exactly what ‘normality’ is?

I would go so far as to claim that most of us go through life playing a ‘walk-on’ part. Our ‘normality’ is guided by what we perceive society to expect of us. We measure the appropriateness of what we say or do by figuring out how close it is to being acceptable to those around us.

Everyone is convinced that they are a ‘normal person’ and all want ‘things to get back to normal.’

Well, I have news for all you ‘normal people’ out there. You will quickly be forgotten after your normal lifespan. It is the ‘abnormal’ free-thinkers who will be remembered.

All down throughout history it is those who refused to conform to ‘normality’ who changed things and made a name for themselves. Confining oneself to a perceived standard called ‘normality’, can limit a person’s potential. The men and women who achieved the extraordinary, were those who stepped outside the ‘normal’ boundary.

Trying to please the crowd is what keeps a lot of people ‘normal.’ The trouble with this modus operandi is that you are stifling your individual flair and throwing away some of your strengths in the process.

The very word ‘normal’ suggests that there are only two types of person; ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal.’ This isn’t so. There is no absolute definition as to how any human is compelled to behave

People confuse ‘perfection’ with ‘normality’. Perfection is an out of reach illusion and if you equate ‘normal’ with ‘perfection’ you will concentrate too much on your flaws – when ‘we get back to normal.’

Every person is unique. We are all ‘once-offs’. Don’t deny yourself your uniqueness to be just you. The rest of us will be all the better for not missing out on the uniqueness of the people around us – ‘when we get back to normal!’

I hope that the lockdown will have encouraged more people to be themselves in the new normal. I think that people will try new things and express themselves in a more exciting manner when we break out of lockdown.

Don’t worry about being ‘normal’ or not. A long time ago I was visiting an old neighbour in St Loman’s Psychiatric Hospital. Like the rest of the patients, Tom, (not his real name) wasn’t there for ailments such as an ingrown toenail.

As we chatted about this and that, ‘Tom’ pointed to a fellow patient, who seemed to me to be chatting quite sensibly to his visitor. ‘Do you see that fella over there, he asked me. ‘The man with the cap’, I asked. ‘Yes’, said Tom … ‘that lad is mad!’

We have rambled a bit here on ‘normal times.’ But when all is said and done – won’t it be great when ‘things get back to normal!

Don’t Forget

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows.