All of us, or pretty much all of us look at our own individual lives as ‘normal’, even people that are differently able probably see their life’s as ‘normal’ for their circumstance. It is from this vantage point that we view where/how others live. Where we try to understand/judge how others live if different than our own ‘normal’, as we assume ‘most people’ live just like us.
We accept hardships and/or luxuries as ‘normal’ if we have always experienced them. As when Mary-Antoinette, a queen in France, when she reportedly told that her people could no longer even afford bread, she replied, “Then, let them eat cake.” Was she really this callus? I imagine she just really had no idea, what life was like outside her ‘world’, her royal life was her ‘normal’.
I just watched the movie, “Breathe”, about a polio survivor who was now a paraplegic. His ‘normal’ changed overnight, a huge adjustment, but then his new ‘normal’ that of a paraplegic, he and his family in time wondered did they really have to accept this new normal? From that normal, they started imaging a different one.
It is imagining the different life, the one not normal from where we currently are when we make change. Sometimes this means being exposed to someone else’s normal, to see a different way. Sometimes it takes a huge unforeseen change in our normal, a loss of a job, a death, illness, natural disaster, war to create a change. Not all change is for the better, or at least some at the time can’t be seen as good changes at the moment. Sometimes things need to get really bad before people are willing to put an effort into change, to rising up. As humans I think it is always our goal to rise up.
Yes, some of us accept where we are, and see no reason for change, “It was like that when I grew up, and I didn’t turn out that bad”. Or we look around at our situation, see our family circumstance and how our families past has been, and with comments from our elders reinforcing the thought, this is just how it is for us folks, many believe, accept their ‘normal’. They may complain about it, like the story of a hound dog laying on a nail and groaning because it hurts, but not willing to move from that spot on the floor, because he would have to make a change and he is not willing to do so, instead he will just complain.
I believe that big changes can be made with little steps.This can be picking up litter, recycling, smiling, helping another even in a small way, …being the best person we can be. Being creative, looking at things from new ways, seeing new connections from unusual things. Most importantly imagining a new way, a new normal, and working towards that, believing in it until it is. 2 steps forward one step back….fine….sideways,…. fine, but always forward, always improving the ‘normal’ for an even brighter future.
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. Carol Burnett
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Robin Williams