Have you ever stopped to think what the difference between being ‘normal’ and being ‘natural’ really is? When I checked the dictionary, the definitions were similar for both; usual, standard, ordinary and amazingly the definition of natural was normal.
I believe there is a huge difference between the two. It was summed up perfectly by a friend of mine who said; “I have been normal for so long, that I have forgotten how to be natural”
Many of us are taught to be normal from an early age because our parents don’t want us to stand out from the crowd. The fear is that society will only accept us if we fit with what the majority regard as normal.
It’s ‘normal’ to attend school, college then get a job. Just as it is deemed ‘normal’ for boys to play with cars and girls with dolls. It’s also ‘normal’ to date someone, get engaged, married then have children. These are what society accepts as ‘normal’.
Normality is fluid
But normality is fluid; it changes as society changes.
Take for instance marriage. Nowadays it feels natural for many couples to live together and have children without getting married. Whether you or I think this is right or not is a different question. The fact is, it’s becoming more acceptable. What comes naturally today to many people may one day be the norm. Normality is often created by conformity.
It is also possible to be normal and natural. For many people, their natural way is what society judges to be normal, for many others however being natural is far from normal.
What is Natural
It may feel natural to you to be in a relationship with someone of the same sex as you. Or it may feel natural to wear a white suit at a funeral. You may naturally follow a particular faith or belief.
There are many ways that being natural may not fit into the norm, but which feels right for you. Remember, normality is external. It is set by what the majority determine to be correct. Being natural on the other hand is internal. It’s about doing what comes easily to you.
Often, we spend so much time being normal that it starts to feel natural. Many people break away from this and dare to be different.
If we’re not advocating normality the only two things left are natural and unnatural. This is the choice we’re faced with as individuals. To be unnatural and normal, or be natural even if it means sometimes being different.
As long as doing what comes naturally doesn’t harm anyone, including yourself, then I see nothing wrong in expressing yourself through it.
Consider whether you are being normal because others want you to be. Or are you being your natural self because it’s in line with who you really are. Be your natural self. You never know in a few years society may deem your way to be the norm.