Quotes – Normalcy

“Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.”  -Bertrand Russell,  (1872-1970)

And it was! By definition, change is always abnormal. If you keep behaving in a typical manner, nothing changes.

As a therapist one question I hear a lot is “What’s normal?” The best definition of normal that I’ve encountered so far is: Normal is what you’re used to.

We treat normal like some universal standard when actually it’s a very individual quality. We each have our own normal. Any time someone wants to make a change, the first step is becoming abnormal. Over time, if the deviation remains present and consistent, the new way becomes typical and is no longer judged abnormal. At this point, “normal” has been reset and change has occurred.

Dissatisfaction motivates desire for change which leads to deviance. Repeated deviance begets consistency which, if maintained, ultimately normalizes.

Some say normal leads to right angles and wrong turns. My favorite definition of “normal” came from an old golfing buddy who used to say, “Normal people are people you just don’t know very well.”


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