Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What is Normal?

When I tell our kids that I have never been in a physical confrontation their reaction is: “You lyin’!” When they tell me that they have to fight, I tell them: “No you don’t!”. Or when they tell me that they have been to 10 funerals in one year… I can’t even wrap my brain around that! That is NOT NORMAL!!! But who am I to say what normal is????
I grew up in a country where kidnappings are a part of life, even expected. Either you knew someone who had been kidnapped or someone whose family member was kidnapped. In 5th grade one of the kids in my school got kidnapped and was dropped off at my birthday party after 3 months! How is that normal? But it was! Having to be driven to and from school, and anywhere else , because I was on some “list” by a driver who had a gun, was normal; I thought all kids were on some list
Our kids have people in stores follow them because they are suspicious, are measured up by total strangers on the street, avoid certain neighborhoods, or put up a front, just to survive, that is just life. When you are born into a gang, or to alcoholic parents, or in a community that is a war zone that is what you consider normal, It’s your life… and you don’t know what you don’t know.
Having this perspective helps me to keep me out of judgment. As Forrest Gump said, “Normal is as normal does”. Today, I just try to do the best I can, and accept that my reality is no one else’s but my own, and I am the only one that can change that.
Reflectively yours,

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