Analogous to the limited area of acceptability of the word, “discrimination” (ex. relating to taste in clothes, food, art, architecture) the operative word, “normal” has the potential of being a Dr. Jekyll or a Mr. Hyde product.
The word normal is useful when employed in the context of objective experience or the predictive state of inanimate things, i.e. physical properties of matter, weather patterns, weights and measures, agricultural or industrial production longevity, physical measurement, among the physical phenomena.
When used for the nefarious purpose of the valuation of human beings, it is more than baseless and inaccurate; it is unjust and has the potential in reality to be dangerous. The very concept of worth and value in the context of human beings is ignorant and frightening. People were not made clone-like with one uniform cookie cutter. The insensitive and mindless use of “normal” (with the exception of aberrant behavior) leads to negative, sometimes tragic results.
The easiest critique to make of the word and concept when applied to humans, is that it is indisputably subjective and the product of the commentator’s personal perception, hence inaccurate, In the extreme the word can be a publicly effective tool of totalitarian repression and, as shown by history, is an efficient precursor to extermination,
There is such a plentitude, regrettably of this frequently used word that for practical blog reasons, we limit ourselves to a few, hopefully demonstrative examples.
George Orwell, in his” futuristic” novel,”1984” (written well before 1984), portrays a future in which people are permanently sorted out and categorized in accordance with their perceived competency and usefulness to the State, gave a cogent view of a cookie cutter population.
We all have learned from the disastrous and tragic results of European colonialism, that only horror and perennial hatred are the fruits of ethnocentric arrogance. Such diseased thinking has not yet fully abated and the enduring scars on the self- image of humanity remain. As long as the mantra of “we” and “they” are still perpetuated, such tragedies will probably continue. (Blog #3).
In our personal lives and experience, analogous pathologies seem to infect the psyche and militate against the belief in the universal worth of all human beings and atavistically value people with the yardstick of race and ethnicity .The word” race,” in addition to lacking any scientific basis, has never been used for any positive purpose but only for mischief.
The reprehensible standard of “normal” would seem to be a tactic of the insecure mind’s attempt to assuage its discomfort by the creation of a sense of community with others, also lack wisdom and perspective, but share a corporate unity of thought and outlook.
Examples of this outlook can also be observed in employment hiring (“is he a good fit”) and in the admission of an applicant for membership in a college fraternity (“is he a cool example of a frat brother in our fraternity”). Difference is not acceptable.
It is reassuring that many people do possess desirable qualities of originality and creativity of thought; people with the aspirations and probable future of full and rewarding lives through progress in self-knowledge, creativity and a developed sense of the aesthetic.
Arguably, the most unique and valuable feature of America’s greatness is its creativity and freedom of thought. The developments in new cures and techniques in disease prevention, advancements in travel, communication, artistic expression, in understanding ourselves, our planet and our universe; we would not stand a chance of such spectacular developments with a limited, cookie cutter approach to mankind.
Under the large tent of humanity, there are variations in political belief, sexual identity, scientific belief, Deists and non-Deists; all are eminently acceptable and valuable. Value is expressed in many ways but consistently dependent upon reason and the spontaneous acceptance of others who may be different.
Normal?? Not on your life.