WTF is "normal"?

1 year, 10 months ago

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.”
-Pablo Picasso

12.31.2012 at 1:05 pm

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Profile photo of Ray Butler Ray Butler (@trek79) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

This reminds me of a thought I had: Everyone wants to prove how unique they are, it is precisely that which makes us all the same.

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Profile photo of MichaelO MichaelO (@michaelo) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@trek79, “Normal” is defined by the masses. Not everyone wants to prove that they’re unique, because then there wouldn’t be any ‘mainstream’-anything, I believe?

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Profile photo of Ray Butler Ray Butler (@trek79) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@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.

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Profile photo of E.C.F. Doyle E.C.F. Doyle (@chekovchameleon) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

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.

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Profile photo of Samantha Samantha (@sammomantha) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@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.

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Profile photo of Ray Butler Ray Butler (@trek79) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@chekovchameleon, That’s my point, it is a goal that completely relies on the judgements of others, that is a losing battle from the get-go. All you really have a chance at is impressing yourself and that is done by doing your best in your own passions, for the pleasure of the ride not for the results or the scrutiny others subject those results to. That is where success is, not in defining the normal or the unique.

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Profile photo of E.C.F. Doyle E.C.F. Doyle (@chekovchameleon) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@trek79, Of course, no good can come from trying to be anything, you are yourself, it is a cross we all have to bear weather it is light or heavy. There is no way to be unique, everybody is naturally unique. Just being is unique, no effort required. This spent energy could just be going towards your self fulfilment or towards your fellow man. There is no solace to be found in your image. It is an entirely self serving exploit, the search for originality.

“Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appal. Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness. Woe to him who, in this world, courts not dishonor! Woe to him who would not be true, even though to be false were salvation.”

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Profile photo of KevinSG KevinSG (@flyingrhino) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

Normal is just the average behavior collective or whatever the fuck. But seriously, who ever achieved anything monumental being “normal”?

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Profile photo of MichaelO MichaelO (@michaelo) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@flyingrhino, Exactly my point, every person that achieved something great isn’t/wasn’t “normal” by the definition of society. That is why one shouldn’t do whatever everyone else does, it’s like the flock of brainless sheep I was talking about. If you aren’t different from the masses, you probably won’t do better than the average person.

@trek79, I think I might have written down the question I was asking myself – more like a rhetorical question – but you’re absolutely right.
Just look at how being a hipster is becoming mainstream. Like you said, they fail at standing out because other people do exactly the same, thus they’re not being ‘unique’.

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Profile photo of Stoney Baloney Stoney Baloney (@adamm0ss) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

“Normality is to be confined, as insanity is to freedom”

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Profile photo of Caroline Caroline (@cpugh9) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

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!

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Profile photo of Vinay Chandran Vinay Chandran (@oraclemyth) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@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!

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