“Normal” is Overrated

The word “normal” has a very specific meaning. It’s not a synonym for “best.”

Why do I care?

I’m not normal, and I’m proud.

“Normal” has meanings like “expected” or “most common,” although some statisticians might debate whether “normal” is more like the “mean” (average value), “median” (half the values greater or equal, half the values lesser or equal), or “mode” (most commonly observed value). Being “normal” is great if you wish to be inconspicuous and just fit in, but it doesn’t mean you’re likely to do something outstanding.

I acknowledge that being “outstanding” isn’t automatically good; one can be outstandingly virtuous or outstandingly evil. Most of us aspire in some way to be the best at something. This isn’t to say that we all are the best at something, but each of us wants to be the best something: the best parent, or the best banker, or the best actor, or the most humble and self-effacing person.

If you’re the best at something, you’re not normal. If you’re average at everything, you’re normal. Actually, if you’re average at everything, you’re not normally; you’re exceptionally average.

So, when someone says to me that I’m “not normal,” my answer is, “and your point is?” Normal is overrated, and it doesn’t bother me at all that I’m not normal.

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