We are all normal

Look at the image below, on the left. She is a normal girl, is she? So what does make her «normal»? Well, she has two legs, two arms, one head, and she can see, speak, ear, think. Just an ordinary girl. Now, look on the right. He is a normal boy, is he? So what does make him «normal»? Well, he has two legs, two arms, one head, and he can see, speak, ear, think. Just an ordinary boy.

So they are both «normal». But they are different too! The girls is dark-haired whereas the boy is fair-haired. They have a different color of eyes too, and the girl is taller than the boy. Furthermore the girl has a degree whereas the boy is a bricklayer. So they have different education, abilities, capabilities, interests, habits too. But they are both normal, so that it looks like being different does not make any… difference. Does it?

Now, look at the image below, on the left. She is a girl too, is she? However, somebody may say she is «different». Why? Because she is from India. Same for the boy on the right. He is from Africa. They belong to different cultures, and they dress, behave, react to a situation, think differently. And of course the color of their skin and the somatic types are different from the previous ones.

But… we said that differences do not make any difference, so why diversity between cultures should matter more than diversity within a culture? And why the color of skin should matter more than the color of hair or eyes?

Ok, let us go ahead. Look at the image below on the left. She is a girl too, again. She looks «normal» but she is different from the first girl I showed you: she has only one arm. Also the boy on the right is different: he is affected by the Down Syndrome. Both of them have strong limitations, but they have a pretty normal life: the girl is a surfer and the boy a painter, an artist. Are they «normal»? A lot of people would say «no, they are disabled, handicapped people».

So, what is making an individual normal and what a disabled person? Which difference matters and which does not? Should we have at least two arms, two legs and one head? So what if I have only one leg? Or one hand? Or just four fingers in my left hand? Or simply I am bald-headed? It looks like I am normal if I have no hair but I am a disabled person if I have not a little finger. By the way, I know nobody with a perfect body. Each one has defects; some are more visible than others, but no body is perfect. So what about brain? How good should be my knowledge of math to be normal? Just arithmetics? Differential calculus? Tensor calculus? How good should be my memory? How many numbers, names, facts should I be able to remember? So, it looks like the separation between normal people and disabled people depends on quantity rather than quality, but where is the threshold?

But what if I am able to play a violin? Not like Paganini, of course, but quite good. Most of people does not play violin. Am I normal? Am I disabled? Maybe I am super. So what if I have not a leg but I play a violin? Am I super-disabled? What if I have the brain of a five years old child but the body of a thirty years old robust guy, and I am able to win a gold medal for weight lifting at the Olympic Games? Am I super-disabled too? So probably each of us is normal in one way, disabled in another, super in a third one? What the overall rating should be?

There could be only one conclusion, at last. Nobody is normal, that is, we are all different. Or if you prefer, we are all normal, because being different is the normality. Whatever criteria you use to assert that a person is not normal, it is probably possible to find an equivalent criteria to demonstrate that it is true for you too. If you pretend to demonstrate that by logics, of course. There is no discimination, no distiction, that can be demonstrated by logics. Eventually we are all normal, whatever is our aspect, our behavior, our belevies, and our mind. And even if somebody could be called mad, and some other handicapped, there is a bit of insanity in each of us, and each of us has some handicap with respect other people.

Therefore it is just a matter of quantity, but be careful to draw the border, because soon or later somebody will place you on the other side of some line too.

Comments (1) to «We are all normal»

  1. sabrinamanca says:

    I totally agree!

Trackbacks and pingbacks (1) to «We are all normal»

  1. […] March 2008 I published an article on this blog where I stated that we are all different, and thence that we are all normal, included […]

Please use Facebook only for brief comments.
For longer comments you should use the text area at the bottom of the page.

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

In compliance with the appropriate provisions of the law I state that this site is no profit, has not a predefined recurrence and is not updated according to a deadline. It may therefore not be considered an editorial product under Italian law #62 of March 7th, 2001. In addition, this site makes use of the right of citation for academic and criticism provided in Article 10 of the Berne Convention on copyright.