Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Is Normal?

Normal, I suppose, means to conform to preset cultural expectations. But who is capable of this in all areas of their existence and if you strike out in any area do you become abnormal? Does it take a certain amount of misses to get that label?

Here is an interesting view of our society... a few facts about we, the people, who find ourselves creating the ideology of a normal life...

One in every 31 American adults, or 7.3 million Americans, are in prison, on parole or probation.

52 people in the US will die today, and everyday, from drug induced causes.

Nine of every 100 high school students has tried to commit suicide.

Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of married men have cheated on their wives. About a 1/3 of wives return the favor.

735 children in the US will be physically or sexually abused today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and every following day.

One in 20 Americans have depression.

I could go on and on with this list but you get the idea. Our prescribed expectations of normal are just fantasies and culturally agreed upon standards. Because really, normal is about quantity not absolutes. The more things are a certain way, the more normalized the thing becomes. The net of normal widens with every incidence of something.

Normal people experience both joys and sorrows. Normal people make mistakes. Normal people get cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Normal people have low, average, and high IQs. Normal people are ugly and beautiful. Some normal people are homosexual. Some normal people have red hair. Some normal people have autism. Some normal people are gifted. Some normal people have Down syndrome. Normal people are all different.

One in about 800 babies who are allowed to live have an extra 21st chromosome. For every one that lives, approximately nine are killed in the womb (though these statistics are beginning to shift in a good way). This means that the creation rate of babies with Down syndrome is really about 10 in 800, or 1 in 80 people. More common than redheads and Ferrari drivers, people with Down syndrome are actually quite normal after all.


Anonymous said...

Right on the nose!

L.L. Barkat said...

Off-topic. (Is that normal? : ) You asked about camera-type. Canon Powershot SX110 lS

Monica said...

Umm, I totally LOVE this post!!! You always make me think and smile!

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