WTF is "normal"?
I think its only getting harder, and harder to be yourself in todays world. I posted a while back about my 11 year old cousin, who is crazy talented. http://crash-wolven.deviantart.com/gallery/ (link to her digital art)
I constantly hear her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and basically everyone else in her family, speak so negatively about her, ie: she will never have social skills, she is mentally retarded was even tossed in, she spends too much time drawing, she is out of touch with society…basically shit like that. She is always compared to other kids in the family, and how basically she needs to be “normal” like everyone else. What the fuck is normal?? .
Basically from what I gather from questioning them (and pissing most of them off)
Normal is taking pictures of your self 100 times a day, to upload on facebook.
Normal is wanting to wear what the other kids wear.
Normal is going to public school.
Normal is watching TV.
Normal is judging everyone else.
Normal is picking republican or democrat.
What is normal to you? Do you see normal as detrimental as I do? Can normal ever be a good thing?
“Every child is born an artist, the problem is to remain one once they grow up.”
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@adamm0ss, Normal is ideological hegemony. It is projected through all media, even music. To me, normal is essentially the idea that allows society to function in the most profitable way for those on top. This isn’t a new world order conspiracy, as some like to think. It has been the same all throughout history, in all societies. The sad thing is that many long for this normality, because it is easy and safe.
People spend their whole lives believing many fallacies through this “normal” mentality. They believe that they cannot achieve anything better than a run of the mill existence, in this case they have been conditioned by media and peers that portray a run of the mill existence as something to thrive for, however, it is clearly very easily achieved, the system allows for this, making normality an easy and attainable goal.
People also fear being set apart from the flock. Being dubbed as an outcast. We are conditioned to fear the strange or abnormal. You can see this in schools most of all. Where it can be particularly hard to pursue interests that are not considered normal. But even outside school, peers of the “normal” way of life will always try to put down the “odd”, out of both fear and justification for their own lifestyle.
Your cousin is clearly very talented. Fuck what others think. It is up to you to make sure your cousin grows up with a clear head and pursues her talents. However, it is important not to instill a hatred of normality. It is not all bad, it is just that devout followers of it are often fairly misguided, much like devout followers of anything. Good Luck. I hope your family finds peace with the diversity of the human mind.
Everyone is equally capable of anything, what it comes down to is the actual WILL of the individual. Yes the society for the most part is fear inflicting on a stunting level, and everyone searches for acceptance and understanding from everyone and everything their entire life when all they need to do is accept and understand themselves.. only then, when they do unto themselves, will they receive what they seek from others. Don’t fear, especially for the sake of the unknown and change. Searching is the wall blocking you from finding. Live Free, Be Present, and Truly yourself. You are perfect and perfect is you. Namaste <3
Normal is average. Abnormal is away from average. I do not like to be average, therefore I love to be abnormal.
Look, these kind of labels are just labels. We should stop comparing each other so much. Be yourself. If you are an artist (or your cousin) and you have a talent: follow it. Stop caring about what other people say, just do what YOU want to do. YOU are the creator of your life and YOU decide what you do with it. Obviously your cousin is just a kid, so her parents are the ones deciding most of her life, but if you have any influence on that, just let her follow her heart and gift.
@adamm0ss, Being “normal” is being like everyone else, doing what everyone else does. If you have to be “normal”, you’re not allowed be your own unique person – you can’t be different than everyone else. But the thing is, no one with great talent is judged as “normal” by society because they can do things that “normal” people can’t – or at least do them better than “normal” people.
It sounds to me like your cousin’s family want her to be “normal”, to be a part of the flock of sheep that is simply doing what everyone else does without thinking much for themselves. Ask her family why they’re afraid of standing out from that flock. Ask them why they don’t want her to use and cultivate her talents. Ask them why she’s not allowed to be her own person.
Personally, I think that being “normal” is boring. While I don’t really like standing out much, I don’t want to be a part of that flock of sheep either – I don’t think that a lot of people in this place, if any at all, does. I like to have my own, small unique things about me. Hell, I like being consideret as abnormal because that’s just proof to me that I leave a special impression to the people around me.
Sadly society believes that anything out of the norm is bad. As if school and society itself doesn’t crush a kids creativity enough, family will. I’m sure all of your family members saying these things are convinced they are trying to make her normal out of love; telling her to be normal so that she will “fit in” when in reality everyone is born to stand out, every person is just as lost as you are and just as lost as this eleven year old kid is, the “normal” people are just better at hiding their individuality. Normal sucks!
@adamm0ss, That is a big mistake people make with kids, they either treat them all the same, when each of them have specific and unique strengths and weakness, or they miss judge their needs and deny them in some belief that they can handle it and will grow from that denial.
It is funny how we have this idea of ‘normal’. I was just watching the news, seeing all the politicians freaking out about the ‘financial cliff’ and I found it somewhat amusing. If you think about what money is, yes it works in some kind of mathematical principle, but ultimately it is an illusion, there is no actual corresponding material that it represents.
We sit here saying how we have to be realistic and sensible, we are to live in the real world. but it is hard to take that hypocrisy seriously considering the driving force of our world is essentially a product of our imagination and some fear driven attachment clings us to this fabrication.
Normal is just the way people are socially conditioned to act, think, speak, etc. Normal does not mean same. In fact I’d say being normal is insane to varying degrees, since all your thoughts and beliefs are programmed into you. They are not your own. A “normal” (I.e. unconscious person) works for the system they are conditioned to think through. They identify anything that is abnormal (I.e. spontaneous and real in many cases) and seek to distinguish it.
A good example of this I can give is soviet Russia. I can’t remember where I heard this but it is said that if you disagreed with the communist regime, you were put in an insane asylumn because the people who were so identified with the ussr thought that you had to be insane to disagree with the idea. It’s the same exact thing that goes on in our society. Anything differing from the norm is considered wrong and is subsequently squashed by “the normals.”
It’s really sad that this happens. And you see it in every facet of society. From schooling to mental health to the media. When normal is insane, and it’s pretty obvious that it is, this is a huge problem. What makes it sad is these people think they are doing the right thing. It’s not some conscious plan to normalize everyone into an unthinking mass. The unthinking mass doesn’t know what they’re doing
It will destroy itself eventually though. Normal is shortsighted. It like being on a ship about to crash into an iceberg, yet somehow no one besides a select few can see the warning signs because everyone else is so consumed in keeping the ship running. They wont be able to see that it’s pretty much time to abandon the “normal” ways of seeing the world and they’ll go down with the ship. That’s how evolution works I guess
@adamm0ss Wow! Those creations are really beautiful. Being normal to the society is being one among a thousand others! That’s what THEY define as normal. Even if any kid drifts from the ordinary path, society and family brings that kid to THEIR path. Crazy stuff! What they don’t understand is that extraordinary people are brought from such out-of-the-box thought processes!
Normal for them is -
- Behaving how everyone behaves
- Conforming to the societal norms
- Not raising eyebrows when everyone is around
- Waking up everyday and doing the same things again & again!
@lytning91, Yeah, I wouldn’t say that its anything I would want a tattoo of, but its crazy creative to me. But she does look up to me, so I try to set a good example for her.
@mikeyw829, Yeah I think I couldn’t agree more. And I definitely see how arguing is pointless. They end up realizing they are ridiculous and changing the subject and then I end up not even knowing what the hell I am arguing about in the first place. Something along the lines of, “So many people can draw, and theres probably not that many jobs out there for drawing. She’s just wasting time she should be spending with other kids.” Sad to hear that people are that fearful.
@xyver, I try to influence her as much as I can. She looks up to me a lot and I think she knows better than to listen to them, its just sad to see them not support her. She goes to the skatepark with me and kicks it and hears some good jams from me too.
haha@filipek, I agree, abnormal is the way to go! And yea, I just hope she remembers that growing up. I think thats the hard part.
@trek79, Its scary how materialistic our society has become. Nothing but greed runs the world.
Try not to let it bother you. It’s fucking hard but try. Because telling an ignorant person what they are doing wrong doesn’t work since their mind is already made up. They don’t realize how dumb and shortsighted they are for the most part, so you really can’t blame them
Being normal is being mediocre and following the sheep. You will be ridiculed for not following but you don’t give a fuck do you? Your off doing your own damn thing smelling the trees and shit. Cowards are ‘normal’, too afraid to lead their own lives.
@michaelo, I was speaking generally, but maybe its not so much that people don’t want to prove they are unique but rather most people fail in that goal, it is hard to stand out from 7 billion other humans in the world.
I guess we all need to be “normal” to a certain extent, but not to the point to where we have no sense of individuality and identity, that’s a sad thing to see..
I think normal is like a standard or basic model of something… what is usually expected. Being normal is not always a bad thing, some people enjoy being what is considered normal, it’s bad is when it does not serve you good and hurts you, or the idea of being normal controls you. I also do not think normal should be considered the absolute best way to live life (some have that mentality), since there is no way to determine that.. (I think it’s subjective)
A lot of people thrive to be “unique”, but unique has nearly become some sort of chic term, like boutique. People thriving to be unique seem to find themselves surrounded by people with similar goals and end up just blending into the crowd, eg. people following stereotypes like emo and stil claiming to be non conformists. Of course thriving to be unique is a lost cause, it’s end is in it’s beginning.
Its odd as children we are told that everybody is different but once you get older that all goes out the window. Especially in High School there is so much pressure to fit in and if you aren’t doing what is social acceptable then you won’t have a “good time”. But who’s idea of is this “good time”? Just because I don’t drink until I throw up or have sex with any girl that is willing I am not considered “cool”. well if that is cool than I am glad I’m a loser because it means I can do what I want and I don’t have to worry about what other people think.
So what it comes down to is that they tell you to Be yourself but only within the guide lines, if you think outside of the box that is unacceptable, if you enjoy being creative that is unacceptable, If you are to unique or speak your mind that is unacceptable. If you are “acceptable” then you are just another pawn in the system, another link in the chain and you as yourself are worth nothing because the system only cares about what it can get from you.
@trek79, Yes! well put =o). I used to think this as well, and felt so alone in this thought because so many people didn’t seem to understand. Particularly as a teen/ early 20′s.
The ‘unconventional’ are really just as conventional as the others.
@adamm0ss, being normal nowadays is being the same type as the vast majority no matter if that is a good thing or bad. If their parents or siblings say something is okay, the bad doesn’t exist for them. This is pathetic… That 11year old girl is really talented and no one has the right to judge her, persons at her age can easily be directed to different directions because of the pressure, she needs to know there’s nothing wrong about her but there’s something wrong about some people who got used to not question anything instead of creating a personality of their own.
@thunderfeet, Thank you for posting this! You gave me a little hope.
Your cousin is an amzing artist! Especially for 11. I really hope that she gets the encouragement from somewhere (it may have to be you) to be strong, and be proud of her talent. Otherwise, give it another 2 years and she will be one of the ones plastered in makeup, wearing minimal clothes, uploading 100′s of photos per day. Sad. Kids are not kids anymore for long.