Amidst a generic discussion, my friend stood up and yelled at me,” Are you abnormal?” Contrary to my own expectation I wasn’t annoyed at the comment. Today, I feel happy about it.
Squirrels are fascinating creatures. They sometimes bury seeds and forget about them. These seeds then grow into trees. An action in ignorance may sometimes be beneficial to all. My friend though, in ignorance brewed within my mind a thought, a thought which I believe carries the key to many locks.
Abnormal is a word which is very loosely used. Before understanding abnormal, a question arises- What is normal? ‘Normal’ by definition refers to a usual or a typical style of something. Here comes the core aspect of my thought. Why do we have a notion that a usual, a generic or a ‘normal’ approach is the ‘correct’ approach? Simply because 9 out of 10 people in a crowd follow a certain path, does it make the path the right one? We are always taught to act within the periphery of certain established guidelines. Such a forced and restricted vicinity of thoughts and actions gives birth to certain stereotypes. While certain guidelines have their own importance to boast about, I believe a more open minded spectacle is required for the others. So, if normal is usual, abnormal is simply unusual.
The prefix ‘ab’ generally portrays a negative concept. Abnormality is regarded as a deviation from the usual, the normal path; a deviation towards something unpleasant and undesirable. Normality and abnormality form the 2 extremities of the same thread. Though these two states of existence have a great bearing on any individual what attracts my attention is the path which joins the two ends. The ‘not so normal’ state of existence. It may sound a very vague ideology. It is nothing but a state of mind which inclines an individual to think and perceive matter without any prejudices, enabling him to respond to the stimulus in a creative manner. Important to note that such a perception is definitely different from the general but need not necessarily be the apt one. Then why is this mid way so interesting?
A kaleidoscope when turned every time shows a different image. One among them would be the best of all. However, it doesn’t stop the viewer to turn it time and again. Viewing and perceiving the same matter unfolds various aspects of the same thing. Pythagoras theorem remains the same. But if no one ever attempted to view it from another angle the world would still have not known the Converse Pythagoras theorem.
We as youngsters are always told to come up with ‘Out of the Box’ ideas. This is nothing but an attempt to induce a change in approach from the conventional methods to something which can be more productive. Here lies one of the biggest ironies of life. While we are asked to follow a pre-determined path on certain occasions, the same people on other occasions will ask us to do something different. The success of an individual in solving this whole maze of normality, abnormality and the middle path lies in understanding what the situation demands and then adhering to it. A constant salvation to anyone of the approach would be malicious.
A shepherd is a person who rears sheep. Though sheep are the source of his daily bread and butter, the shepherd dog is given a higher position in the entire hierarchy. Why? Sheep are gentle creatures, usually uncluttered by what is going around them. One may move as per his choice and all the others simply follow him without a purpose. It is the dog which is responsible for guiding the entire flock to the required destination. Hence, it is in our hands to decide if we want to be an aimless sheep following the flock or to stand apart and make the unconventional move. The risks are high but that’s when the fruit tastes better.
There lies yet another great dilemma in this discussion about being normal and abnormal. It is often misinterpreted with sanity and insanity forming the other end which again can be argued over without any conclusion.
Normal or not so normal and even abnormal- these are all states of mind. Just remember one thing- Do not preconceive your mind with any of them. Rather try to understand what is required. Once it is done, the approach becomes immaterial. The right one will automatically follow you.