The Deal With Normal

Hopefully, you will find an actual clickable video above this and not just a hyperlink. Sorry, still testing out this whole blog/website thing. Either way please take a moment to fully watch the video as it is only about 90 seconds long.

When did “normal” become a bad thing? To clarify, this is not meant to be in terms of sexuality, race, social class, other pseudo-intellectual terminology etc., blah, blah blah, further disclaimer, blah and if any attempt to discuss what I am writing in those terms will be justly ignored…and possibly mocked. What I mean is when did the pursuit of extraordinary go from being celebrated and revered to being the only true means of expression and self worth?

I get that most kids dreamed of being an astronaut, or the President, a star athlete, a world renowned painter, or in my case an author, but like most dreams they either were put aside in pursuit of other goals or never came to fruition. It would be interesting to meet the kid that dreamed of being an accountant or manager, but I think they only exist as comedic relief in sitcoms (George Michael, anyone?). From there most of us found other means of fulfillment through our connections with friends, family, community, our hobbies and interests, and, amazingly yes, even our not so glamorous and mediocre jobs. Frankly, it was okay that basic cable wouldn’t want to do a series about our lives or jobs and that maybe the greatest achievement and notoriety we would gain would be in the form of gratitude from a friend or the smile in our children’s faces. This after all was normal and the life millions aspired to. We might never be under the bright lights and glares of cameras, but being in the glow of the stars with good friends was usually more than enough to have lived a good life.

The video posted above is nothing more than a marketing ploy, but it still rings true in its message…at least in my limited experience and observation. It reminds me of an episode of “Parks and Recreation” where the character Tom describes Jerry’s “sad” life of working at good government job and then going home to his nice home, beautiful wife, and amazing children. While I know this is most likely intended as a means of sarcasm showing how foolish Tom actually is, I can’t help but feel many would agree with his sentiment. Somehow a life not in pursuit of a dream is not one worthy of note. Why is it so wrong to merely be content with what we have and have managed to accomplish? Is having a stable job really so bad just because it is ordinary so horrible a fate?

I am not advocating for people to stop pursuing their dreams because frankly that would suck and we would never have the amazing art and technology we currently have, but maybe we shouldn’t put down “normal” as much as we do. After all, while the extraordinary may make leaps and bounds, it is normal that keeps everything moving at a steady pace toward the same destination. Imagine, where would be without the steadying hand of “normal”?

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