Normal. What is normal? Ordinary, average, general, appropriate- appropriate- when we talk about living a ‘normal’ life, we are actually thinking about the ‘appropriate’ life. The desirable life. The proper life.
Oh you know, the usual- growing up, making friends, going to school, college, getting a job and working your ass off until you’re settled. Raising a family and watching your children grow up. That’s the normal life, isn’t it?
No. No, it’s not.
Because guess what? There’s no such thing as a normal life. It’s all just a myth. It’s the way our elders have hacked our brains since the moment we were born- just like their brains have been hacked.
‘Normal’, first of all, does not mean appropriate. The lifestyle I mentioned above can be called appropriate, but not normal.
Okay, I’ll stop beating around the bush. My point is, nobody’s life is normal. Everybody has issues. There are personal issues and others that are more common, common enough to be called social issues. Behind this face of a normal life, lie a wide variety of social issues. The fact is that not all beings get the chance to live the appropriate lifestyle instantly makes it obvious that that kind of life is not normal. It’s precious.
There are lapses in the education field. Poverty too is a broadly discussed issue. Hunger, gender inequality, discrimination, religious intolerance, the role of women- if we look at it this way, our society is extremely flawed.
People who have beat these issues still face many problems, such as poor mental health, which is spreading rapidly in today’s fast-moving world. Depression, anxiety, autism- more and more cases are coming out as society beats shame. And it’s a good thing.
Children these days face numerous issues as well. Bullying, for instance, may have a long-lasting effect on a child’s life. It causes a child to lose interest in coming to school, instead, developing a fear of it. In severe cases, one develops a fear of life itself. The youth, especially adolescents, are under no less pressure. Peer pressure leads to involvement in drugs and other harmful substances. Teenage pregnancy is another concern.
Let me change the matter a bit. I’ll now speak about society in general. What is society? Our society is supposed to be ‘us’, isn’t it? But unfortunately, we have let our notions and traditions become the meaning of the term ‘society’. Who is responsible for that?
Maybe, ‘normal’ does exist. Maybe, these flaws are normal.
But what exactly is flawed? The society? Time? Or are we?
~ Urvi Shukla, Amity International School, Noida
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