As an adult, we are programmed to think and act in a way that is considered as ‘normal’. I believe it stems from the routine we inflict on ourselves in order to achieve the goals set for an accomplished adult life with the main ones being: having a job or even buying a house. The minor ones lurking around, sometimes tagged as equally important, include speaking to only the small group of people we did not have to ‘try’ to include in our lives and staying deep rooted in our comfort zones.
‘Normal’ behavior is safe. It does not harm anyone. It feeds on the routine we live. It drives us away from who we are and makes us forget our purpose and refrains us from taking risks. ‘Normal’ conduct achieves that by convincing us to keep producing more money and keep chasing power.
It is socially accepted in public settings. Yes, it is normal to compare material things, like cars and property in family events instead of asking if one is truly happy. Yes, it is normal to face the door in a lift and pretend that we are the only person no matter how crowded it is. It is equally normal to blatantly criticize people who are different from us. More acceptable it is to hide our feelings instead of expressing them because we believe that people around will not understand and that ‘they have never been there’.
We have all been there. Perhaps that’s how we have to be so that we can fill in the spaces and integrate as a happy adult who looks responsible, sure and confident from the outside. This holds right if all this ‘normal behavior’ was assisting in our happiness and redefining our purpose.
From my experience, it is not of much help. No matter how old we are and what circumstances we are in, we must not lose the spark that makes our eyes twinkle like when we were children. It should be normal to express ourselves fully and clearly. It should be normal to own up to our mistakes and learn from them and be proud of them. It should be normal to back off from a situation or even someone that makes us feel uncomfortable. More importantly, it should be normal to not follow ridiculous and uncomfortable fashion trends just because everyone else is. It should be normal to prioritize on happiness over money or power.
This list could be never-ending but the point I wish to make is to think before we adhere to what is socially acceptable. Just because everyone is doing something does not mean that it is right for you.