Day 43 Question 43:
What is normal?
First and foremost I recommend to EVERYONE to watch the documentary I have attached at the top. I was given this link by a fellow blogger and I loved every single minute of it. This documentary represents what life should be. It has a magic and a beauty to it and it gives you hope for humankind and human goodness.
I chose this question today because I believe it goes hand in hand with the documentary. Normal is another one of those words that in my opinion is undefinable. Normal doesn’t exist because I believe that if it did the idea of being unique would not be able to exist. We are all unique souls in that no one will ever experience our every feeling, emotion, thought, action, etc.
This film/documentary shows the story of a man that was placed in a mental institution in 1920 and he lived there for 44 years. His family abandoned him and he was labeled as being mentally retarded. While watching the documentary you realize quickly that this man does have special needs. You know that he does not function mentally like several people in society. The beautiful part of this man though was the spirit he had. All documentation of him represented wonder and curiosity and a love for life that is admirable and makes me envious. I love life immensely but I truly believe I can’t even touch the way this man loved life. Society would label me as normal and him as abnormal. I started thinking about this and it seemed so silly and almost contrary to me. Most people live their daily lives coping with stress, heartache, pain, etc. and it makes them depressed, sad and angry. They go through the daily grind and question what is even important. A lot of people get so caught up in the stress that they are unable to see the beauty and the opportunities around them. This man was born with a “mental defect” but very obviously loved deep from his heart and saw the world in a way that he felt absolutely blessed to be alive every single day. He did not enjoy being in the institution but instead of harping on it or carrying anger within himself, he just said he would rather focus on now.
Normal is this concept I believe that we have come up with that equates to being successful. Success can be driven by money, marriage, material items, having children. Success is a concept that usually is in sync with what we consider normal. If you follow a certain path you are most likely to achieve success (college degree, obtaining a good job, getting married and having children)…success can mean many things to people and I think we have paired success and normalcy. We (I use we in a general manner) find people abnormal if they test the rules of society. A person covered in tattoos is ridiculed by many because they are different and because they are “artsy and weird”. A person is not considered normal if they do things that a lot of people don’t do or don’t understand. I admit to using the phrase, “That is just not normal.” I believe I use it more out of habit and because of my own personal definitions but in truth normalcy is an impossible concept. Normalcy goes along with being molded to what the majority wants us to be. I have a very hard time with this.
One very interesting and enlightening experience I got from this documentary was a little bit of a different look at religion. This man continually praised the lord and always spoke so highly of the lord. He was actually Jewish and in his 60’s the was given a Bar Mitzvah. His look at religion gave me a glimmer of hope that there might be a higher power (God) that is a true savior (trust me watch this documentary). So, this man that is labeled as “mentally retarded” has shown me a different side of religion and has depicted the true meaning of love and kindness and humanity as a whole (at least what it should be) and he is not considered normal. He is considered different and to some strange. It doesn’t seem to make sense to me…but then again there are a lot of things that don’t make sense to me.
Being considered normal is just something that people need to put them at ease. There is not one thing wrong with being different. I would tell anyone to do what they can to stand out from the crowd (obviously without hurting themselves or others). I guess if I were to define normal it would be being true to who you are. It would be to love those around you and always trying as hard as you can to continually better yourself and to help those around you to feel good in your presence. Being normal is having faults and flaws and accepting these things because EVERYONE has them. Being normal is being as abnormal as possible. :0)
I normally would never beg people to do anything but I do ask of you with nothing but good intentions to please watch the attached documentary. I know life is very busy but if you can find the time I promise it will be worth it. I believe it is something that should be viewed by young and old alike because it truly will give you the warmest feeling in your heart. I even made this entry a little shorter to save you some time to watch it. ;0)