What is normal?
Normal is actually just the ‘norm’ for that culture.
The dictionary’s definition of normal is: being approximately average or within certain limits.
‘Normal’ is dependent on the population or culture you are in.
A Queensland gynaecologist, who has travelled overseas for research, has found that although it is ‘normal’ in Australia for women to experience some pain during menstruation, in places like Asia it is actually ‘abnormal’ to experience this.
In a Muslim culture, it is ‘normal’ for a woman to wear a Burqa or hijab, yet in Australia this is abnormal – and to some even almost abhorrent.
Why do we think of ‘normal’ as being closer to ‘perfection’ than abnormal? Why do we think of our ‘normal’ as being the correct way?
Because we have this idea of normal, we start to think of things like Aspergers as abnormal. What of the person with Aspergers? To him/ her, it is normal to think and act that way. To him/ her neurotypicals are abnormal.
When my second youngest daughter was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy I was so upset, I told the doctor ‘I just want my daughter to be normal’. To which the awesome doctor replied, “What is normal? There is a spectrum of movement of which we are all on, some are closer to the middle than others. But no one is perfectly ‘normal’.”
That really helped me. My daughter’s movements don’t come as easily to her as others, but none of us have ‘perfect’ movement.
I would like to challenge our idea of ‘normal’.
I would love to hear other people’s thoughts.