Normal or “Normal”

By Senthil Kogilam. Senthil is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Normal. This six letter word seems to be a simple word, but it is not for certain souls. What defines a person as normal? By following a set of rules or social norm which has been accepted as correct, passed down by the previous generation? Or is it merely in the eye of the beholder? In my opinion there is no right answer as to what is normal, instead it is our perception of what normal is.

In our daily life, we tend to classify certain people as abnormal based on our principles and the value system we believe in. These principles or values may be self-realized or instilled by the various factor around us. We believe that it is the utmost truth and stand by it failing to understand that it may be completely abnormal for a person from different geographical or cultural background. For example, a person may think it’s perfectly fine to have several piercings in one’s ears and belly button but a Pentecostal person may argue that it is immoral. Likewise, when we talk about cohabitation, in some corner of the world it may seem normal for two consenting adults to make a decision to live together but in another part of the world, the decision might be frown upon. Growing up, we are often told to stand for our own believes and feelings but oddly, when we are against the norm, we are labelled as an outcast. It’s easy to be judgmental of a person or an issue, but bear in mind, you don’t know something unless you in one’s shoes. Criticizing a person’s choice or decision without realizing the price they have to pay to live by that very choice or decision.

Every single person would love to fit in a setup, be it high school, workplace or even at home. If everything is a matter of choice, we would definitely pick things which will make life easier. Will a mother want to give birth to a differently abled child? Will a homosexual individual choose to lead a different life just for the fun of it? No, definitely no. Nobody wants to be different. Everybody wishes only to be accepted and loved. A homosexual individual can lead a challenging and difficult life. They are required to expend tremendous energy merely to portray themselves as normal in the eye of the society. Every single day is a battle between their feelings and the norms set by the society around them. They need to focus a lot of energy to control their feelings and inclinations which is considered unnatural in our normal world.

In most cases, we are just part of the many audiences who enjoy criticizing such individuals for the choices they make without understanding how much pain they endure to lead life.

Homosexual individuals are forcefully denied their basic rights to love the person of their choice, whereby people use various justification or reasoning to deem it immoral or an act against nature. A common reasoning used is religion. When a person is constantly held against a decision or choice made, it takes a person with very strong mental control and braveness to face the critics and discrimination received from others.

The most important question we fail to ask ourselves is, what normal really is? Will a left-handed person be classified as abnormal when he or she stands amongst a crowd of right-handed people? Historically, being left-handed was considered a negative trait, at times frowned upon by society. However, in the modern era, the answer will be no, as it has been proven scientifically that it is natural, just that it’s rare in general. When we classify a person from a minority group as natural, it takes an awful lot of loads and pressure of them; motivating them to focus on other important aspects of their life instead of attempting to live a life filled with deceit and lies.

Battling between how we are expected to feel and how we actually feel is a difficult one. For example, falling in love; it is the most organic thing that happens to a person. We can’t control when, where, what or whom we will fall for. How damaging can it be to a homosexual person, when the feelings they have towards the person they love is forbidden and they are forced to bury it in order to conform to the normal standards that have been set. We are totally oblivious to the damage that is happening to them. Every human being must be allowed the right to live their life the way they want as long as it does not impact another individual’s life in a negative manner.

Regardless, there is a part of me that questions whether it is right to support the LGBT lifestyle? What are the social impacts if we encourage or support it? What happens to our religious values? What will happen to humankind in coming years? Am I doing wrong by supporting it? The answer in my opinion is; I believe god is more than capable to spare enough space for all of his children to live in this world happily and lead the life they want. It’s in the hand of the children to respect each other’s need and allow the other party to lead their life without being judgmental to the minority group. Once again, I wish to re-iterate, you will only know the value or difficulty of something if you are in a person’s shoes. A person who is diagnosed with cancer will know how much pain they are going through by accepting and living with the nightmare. As a third person, it is easy to advise or convince them to accept the challenges without realizing how difficult it really is.

Right or wrong? Normal or abnormal? Natural or not? It is us who need to decide. At one moment, put aside religious values, see our friends from another view. Expecting them love people we think they should love is like expecting fish to live on land. It is not possible as they have been designed differently. Fish are meant to live underwater. A homosexual being is designed to be attracted to a being of the same gender.

In my opinion, being normal or not is not the issue. It is important that we become human beings who attempt to understand the people around us without jumping into conclusion. We need to see everyone only from the angle of love. If we can’t love them, then don’t hate them. If we can’t understand them, then don’t criticize them. If we have the option to fit them into our lives, then we shouldn’t we try to fit them in. Let’s celebrate these people for their tremendous energy and braveness in leading their life in this unfair battle. Before we start to judge such individuals, we must step into their shoes and walk the life they living and if we get as far as them, just maybe we will see how strong they really are. Be the changes we want to see in others and spread the love equally, because normal or “normal” in the Eyes of Almighty all his children are the same with their own unique ways.

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