Every now and then, I think about what might constitute a state of being normal. It’s pretty clear that most of us have sought a status of normalcy, in one realm or another. We want normal body temperatures. We want our weather to be normal because the alternative is generally unpleasant.

Beyond that, exactly what is a definition of normal? What I’m thinking is that aspiring to normalcy is exactly the same as aspiring to mediocrity or being average. Think of it this way. If someone described you as normal, how would that feel? Yawn? Hmmm? A suggestion that you are totally lacking in excitement?

I’m suggesting that most of us have spent too much time seeking a normal life. It feels like we consider ourselves okay or acceptable if we don’t do anything out of the ordinary that may take normal from our characteristics.

As with many of the attributes that we have been taught to achieve, I submit that this one is totally not worth pursuing. No, I don’t want to be considered abnormal, paranormal, subnormal, or anything similar. But I seek to take chances, try things that I hadn’t previously tried, and work toward those goals that may seem unattainable or not consistent with my age or background.

Let me provide an example. It was not until I had completed a rewarding career in healthcare and financial services that I attempted an identity as a writer and author. Maybe it was because I hadn’t thought of it. Or maybe it was because I had previously believed that being a writer or author was something outside my comfort area or abilities. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Thirteen years later, I have published three books and I am working on a fourth and fifth.

And so, as a parent, grandparent, and educator, it is most unlikely that I will ever suggest to a child to be normal. From here, that seems like guiding toward average. The only goals that are worth attaining are those outside the average or mid-range. Think big, think great, think extraordinary. Leave the concept of normal to 98.6 degrees. Shalom.

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