7 No More Normal
To Mom and Dad: This chapter is dedicated to my loving parents, Hilary and Andrew Krueger. They have instilled honorable values in me that I am proud to express through my writing. They have supported me in my endeavors and made me appreciate all my blessings. I hope to carry on as they do, with unwavering love and commitment to each other and our family. I admire this spirit in them so much so that they are my forever role models. I am grateful for their hard work which has manifested itself into my life through opportunity. They have situated me for success and done so with such modesty that I uncover their goodness every day.
To Teachers: This chapter is dedicated to my teachers along my academic path. They have mentored me to be the best version of myself. Throughout my 15+ years of schooling I have been nurtured into an intellectual with their guidance. They have molded my perspective to view my life with purpose and intension. They have created lenses through which to identify. My teachers and professors have given me a firm foundation to learn. They have taught me to be curious and let my walls down. They were teaching me academics but in the process, I was learning life skills. It is for these reasons I sing their praises and continue to push myself as a student.
Keywords: Division, Belonging, Classification, Exclusion
Normal is only normal to those who belong in it.
So normal is different depending on who and what you belong to.
Normal is the foundation on which to build self.
Each normal has expectations and standards that qualify those who comply.
Normal is passed down through the generations perpetually.
Your version of normal is innate and nearly mindless.
Normal is conventional and attempts to keep order.
Normal has your trust without earning it.
Normal minimizes people into shallow and generalized boxes.
The reality of normality is that it has little range.
The status quo has an awfully restricting effect on people.
Public knowledge is thin spread.
Mainstream is rarer than anticipated.
Normal is only safe for those inside of it.
The normal that exists today is cutthroat in division.
It creates classification which people place value into.
It is a system that recognizes pattern and favors affinity.
Normal is in turn not widespread or inclusive.
Normal is in fact exclusive.
Social norms are quick to isolate groups and people.
Those who embody these social norms have the power to decide who can pass.
Normal is stratified.
Normal is institutionalized.
Normal is socially situated.
Normal can feel like the mean girls in highschool in the way they judge those identified as weird.
Psychologically this behavior is the human need for belonging surfacing into social behavior.
This complex behavior is an attempt to feel loved and connected.
It is only within these certain divisions of normal that allow for these pockets of belonging.
Membership in these groups fulfills our human need for belonging.
The tension of what divides normal is also the glue that keeps it together.
An inevitable irony exists within the term “normal” which unites and divides.
The result is polarizing.
Normal inwardly builds and outwardly destroys.
Normal manipulates circumstances to favor who they accept.
It almost acts as a beast.
It will show its fangs and guard its heart.
Normal is territorial and loyal.
Normal only fends for its own kind and prioritizes its own kind at all costs.
This savage will fight to the death for its own kind.
It will give into barbarian tendencies.
Normal is the predator and abnormal is the prey.
This messy side of normal explains the civil unrest seen in American politics.
The party you identify with characterizes your fight for normal.
Your political affiliation details the ideals you are willing to tolerate and support.
To stand as either a republican or democrat makes a statement.
The normal beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors on either side are charged with your reality.
Political normalcy is undeniably racially charged.
Especially in the face of The Black lives Matter Movement, every action or inaction is crucial.
The act of avoidance is still an act which is recognized in the current era of protest.
Despite the ever-present political undertones, the goal of this protest is equality, or in simpler terms, break the norm.
Since it is normal for black people to live a life of fear under police brutality this movement is to break the normal.
Since it is normal for black people to receive poor schooling and poor opportunity this movement is to break the normal.
The political normal is challenged to change with this movement.
If equality is to be normal, the current inequality associated with normal must change.
As seen in the unrest, the pitfall of normality is its tiny lens of perspective.
This tunnel vision makes no space for humanity.
It fosters hatred.
A hyper focus on individual normality can take away from the greater essence of life.
Normal can forget that their animal is one of many animals.
Each normal is fighting for its own normal.
With such a hostile reality, the term “normal” cannot yield growth.
With a defensive and avoidant approach, America cannot progress.
Without admittance of our privileged systems, the American normal cannot create an inclusive environment.
My wish for normal is that it gains compassion or else it be removed.
Normal cannot be reclaimed if in never existed.
Normal should be broken and banished.
I want normal to expand its pockets of belonging lest it be removed.
My goal for normal is to welcome people into its circle as its’ own.
I want to increase acceptance among races.
I want brotherly love and peace for normal to support each other.
I see hope for normal, that is, only if we gain the perspective of humanity.
As Americans and humans, we are bigger than our systems.
We are greater than the things that divide us.
We can claim the term normal when we agree to belong as one.