Normality. Being normal. What does it mean? Well, let me explain. In fact, “to be normal” simply means “to be within the norm”, “to be average”. Basically, it means to be like everybody else, to be ordinary… And nobody wants to be ordinary. Here is an example that will surely remind you of my dandelion field.
An abnormal cactus
Let’s say that in a room, there are one hundred cactuses in pots.
Of the hundred cactuses, ninety-nine have three branches and thorns, and one has only one branch, but with a large flower at the tip.
From this point on, we do simple math. Since the majority of the cactuses in the room have three branches and thorns, we say: “generally,” “normally,” a “normal” cactus has three branches and thorns. This leads to the inevitable conclusion: the cactus with a flower is not normal.
The thing is that by saying this, we forget two essential points:
First thing: and which cactus do you think will be noticed first when you enter the room? The cactus with a flower, of course!
It will be noticed because it is different and therefore unique. So no, it’s not “average.” No, it does not correspond to what is considered a “normal” cactus. However, it’s the one I’m going to bring back home and place near my window so that it keeps on making pretty flowers.
The second thing we forget: the flowering cactus is not alone. There are other rooms in the building, with other flowering cactuses, also feeling lost among the so-called “normal” cactuses. But with their different colored flowers, it is these so-called “abnormal” cactuses that will beautifully decorate any home.
The word “remarkable” means “something that one notices”, but above all, something that one notices for its unique qualities and characteristics.
The antonym of remarkable, unremarkable, is used to describe something that is not worth noticing. Something with no particular trait, quality, or characteristic; something “average, common, ordinary”. Something ordinary. Something “normal.”
So can you tell me now: who can possibly want to be average? To be unremarkable, ordinary, common… normal? Not me! What about you?
Your difference is a strength…
For a cactus, having a flower sets it apart from the others.
You don’t have a flower growing on your head. But whether it is a physical, mental, social, of personality, or of health difference… you surely possess something that makes you special, different, unique… remarkable.
Maybe it’s because of this remarkable difference that you get picked on by others. Perhaps because of this remarkable difference that you would often prefer to be less noticed, and maybe even, sometimes, invisible.
But let me tell you something: it is not always obvious, but you must always cultivate your difference, just as you would cultivate the flower of the little cactus. You have to be proud of it. You have to wear it like a medal and see it as an asset because that’s what it is. It will teach you a thousand things about yourself, about others, about life. It is your strength, even if sometimes it seems to be disguised as a problem.
… and time is your ally
Thinking that being different is a flaw rather than a strength is what distinguishes ordinary people from others.
There is something else that distinguishes ordinary people from others: trusting time.
It is time that teaches us, time that strengthens us, time that shines light on everything.
As a 3911-year-old, I have often had the opportunity to see how time is working for us. I can assure you that from the moment you will learn to love and cultivate your difference and to recognize it as your greatest strength, the day will come when you will finally understand why you were right to do it… It just takes a little patience and lots of trust. 🙂