The quest to be “normal” is foolish — if you consider what normal really is. Normal simply refers to a statistic. It refers to the statistical normal curve, the vast majority in the middle. In other words — if you’re like the majority, you’re normal; if you’re not like the majority, you’re not normal. Being IN or OUT of the majority is not a value judgment; it’s simply a statistic. Making a value judgment (about yourself, let alone about another person) is much, much harder than statistics.
When people say, “I want to be normal,” they usually mean one of two things. One, “I want to be like the pack.” Two, “I want to be reasonable.” The latter case is benign. They’re simply confusing the word “normal” with “reasonable.” The first case is potentially dangerous. When you say, “I want to be like the pack” — well, that’s how you get Nazi Germany, in the extreme case. That’s how we got COVID fascism — with half or more of the public not even believing masks made sense (they don’t) or that the experimental vaccines were effective (obviously, they’re not). That’s also how you get boatloads and boatloads of neuroses which keep mental health professionals in business, but aren’t in the interest of the people engaging in the neuroses.
Wanting to be part of the pack, some will insist, is understandable. But is it? IF living the life you want to live puts you squarely in the majority — then FINE. The main point is that you’re living the life YOU want to live. If it places you outside of the majority — that’s fine too — so long as what you’re doing isn’t self-defeating, self-destructive and/or so long as it doesn’t physically harm another person.
Rejection of being normal does not mean you reject objective standards. It does NOT mean you give up on the idea of a right or wrong. There are life-affirming, moral ways of living; and there are crazy, self-destructive and irresponsible ways of living. There is a right and a wrong. We may debate what right and wrong are, especially in marginal or complex cases. We may even debate what the standard of “good” and “bad” should be. But one thing is for sure: You don’t look to the majority — to the normal curve — to establish or prove what’s right or wrong.
The desire to be normal is one of the most neurotic (at best) and existentially destructive (at worst) errors that we human beings make. Be on guard against it! Especially in these irrationally explosive times.
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