Thursday, November 24, 2005


We are chained by our experiences. They bind us, control us, enslave us. They provide our definition of normality, by which we judge the world. We can obviously break from the bonds, but it is not easy. People who were abused as children have a higher chance of abusing their own children. Why? Because to them, abuse is normal. Notice that I didn't say right, but normal. I believe they still understand that it is wrong, and they still feel pain and remorse. However, it was what was done to them and therefore, they see it as normal behavior.

My father died when I was 20. To me, not having a father when you are an adult is normal. It seems weird to me when I hear my friends talking about thier parents. I don't have those experiences to draw on, so I have to extrapolate how it would have worked out, but it doesn't feel normal to me. Even as I look at my children's future, I often don't picture myself with them when they are grown; it wouldn't be normal.

How much do we judge people and situations based on our view of normality? How much could we prevent abuse by working to alter people's view of normality? How much do you try to extend your experiences to understand other people's view of normality?

For those who want to dispute my definition of normality, feel free. But, all things in life are tied to perceptions. What is normal is just another perception. In fact, what is right is just another perception - the only difference is who is doing the perceiving.

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