Several years ago, in a conversation with colleagues was discussed about the concept of being normal. One of them said that being a normal person and living a normal life was one of the most difficult things in life. It was the first time for me to think about this concept. I was pretty young at the time and my eyes were standing up in the sky all the time. I considered being normal was something already granted in everybody’s life, while my attention was how to become super, and famous, and top influencer. I didn’t really get his point at the time and I was not very interested for it. After many years and with more experience on my shoulders my opinion has changed and is similar to what my colleague said at that time.
Being normal means to follow the rules of society all the time, even though those rules are made to keep you under control and to make of you just someone staying in the crowd. It means you work as many hours per week as others have decided for you. You make as many days off as others have decided for you, and most of the time you frequent the places others have decided to be labeled ‘cool and trendy’. This is probably one of the easy parts of being normal, because you do not need to think hard and make decisions; others have already done that for you. At the same time being normal means perseverance even when you work all day and can hardly pay the rent and other bills. It means to follow the rules even when you are victim of injustice and corruptions. Yes, you should follow the rules when your children are bullied at school and nothing is done to protect them. Being normal requires to fully believe in the system and accept what system allows you to have.
Being normal means to respect tradition. In different countries tradition calls for different requirements: it can be touching the feet of your parents for receiving their blessing, kissing the hands of your parents, washing the feet of your husband, getting married only with family approval, work on the family business, stay at home to raise children and take care of the house, get married before you turn 25, live in a big house together with extended family, invest time and energy to help all your relatives, accept the fact that there are other people involved in the decisions for education of your children, etc. Unfortunately, veneration of traditions calls for less personal freedom and this is one of the costs we have to pay for being normal.
Being normal does not stop you from dreaming, but that is the utmost luxury we shall be allowed. Unless we are part of those chosen by destiny to be the heirs of powerful families that will be supported in their dreams. Most of normal people I know have a big drawer full of dreams, but they do not ‘dare’ to open it and follow them. Being normal drains all their energy away and leaves little room for thinking outside of the box.
But, being normal does not mean not being happy. There is a big number of people around, that are happy with the status quo and feel pretty comfortable in following the rules all the time. I’ve been one of them, until I realized the system was trying to push me down and not allowing me to get where I wanted to be. That was the moment I started to feel being normal as a burden and understood the real cost of having this status. There is a famous quote of Albert Einstein I’d like to share with you:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein
Unfortunately, being normal takes away our imagination and stops us from freely exploring the universe. I can’t say who is responsible for taking the decision of being normal, the power of our family’s tradition, our parents or ourselves. What I want to emphasize is that it is fair for everyone to have the possibility to choose whether they want to be normal people or not. And, I believe we as parents should be enough open minded to allow our children to have a life of choices.
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