What is normal?
I honestly don't think I, or anyone else for that matter, can answer that question with absolute certainty. This is because normal is both subjective and transient. Normal in the United Kingdom may not necessarily be normal in Japan, normal in London might get you funny looks in Liverpool. Slavery was normal in the 1700s but today...
So why does this idea of normality keep getting pushed. Why do we celebrate conformity and scorn diversity. Why have we all elected to wear this modern day uniform and paint anyone who turns up in plainclothes as mad. Worse still, why have we chosen to believe them when they say that our uniqueness is not normal? We hide our identity behind a facade of likeness, hoping it means they like us. Guess what, they might like you...but wouldn't you rather have their respect?
I've never been one to believe the tale of the many ailments that afflict millenials; ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Autism etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that these are genuine conditions that prevent people from functioning "normally" in society. In my opinion society is the problem having defined normalcy with such rigidity that it shies away from engaging with and accepting variety. It's easier to shove them all in a box and say "Oh they're that" and then (we all do this) avoid dealing with them, leaving them to the "professionals".
Now I'm not going to launch the 'What's wrong with humanity?' debate but I do want to ask you: Are you truly normal? Do you even want to be? Or would you rather be accepted for who you are, warts and all. Would you rather be ruthlessly authentic, living your own original expression, regardless of society's response?
The Welsh journalist, author and radio personality Jon Ronson, in his 2011 book The Psycopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry, concludes that he doesn't believe that we are put on this earth to be especially normal, and I agree. If we can accept that, then we can stop living prescribed lives and forge our own paths in this world, paths that ultimately lead to the betterment of society and the world as a whole.
This is the essence of true freedom. No one is normal. Everyone is bruising. We are all mad here.