What Defines Us As - Normal???

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines NORMAL as:

1 - according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle

2 - conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; and as : of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development b: free from mental disorder :sane

But what happens when society defines what is normal???  By Merriam-Webster's dictionary, i cannot be normal because in societies eyes, i "suffer" from a mental disorder referred to as, Bi Polar Mania.  Although if one were to look at me, they would not know that i am Bi Polar.  If one were to look at me, they wouldnt classify me as "Kinky", nor would many consider me a "Genius", although i am all of these things. I would have to tell and in some instances prove to people what i am.  The same goes for most serial killers, serial rapists, as well as "terrorist".  You just cant tell because they "appear" to be "normal". 

What about the things that "make" many of us "normal" Many of us were drawn to this very website for many different reasons stemming from, rape, mental disease/disorder/defect, depression, suicide attempts, etc...  How can any of us fit the "norm" when there is so many devastating things happening on a daily basis in many lives?  War, poverty, genocide, politics, religion, and even experience makes us pretty much all ABNORMAL or at the very least non conformed normal... 


My question is, in your opinion(s) what defines normal/normality???

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4 Responses Mar 2, 2009

i thing nothing is right or wrong in this world...its people and situations..

I certainly don't fit into the category of what 'norm' is...and don't intend to try to. I believe 'normal' is a matter of opinion. Some people will argue that it is normal to have something that makes you different (mental disorder, extreme life experience, etc) others will argue that it is not normal. It doesn't affect who we are in the least...unless we allow it to.

I would say that normal is based on anything in excess, but we both know that what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right. <br />
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We are social creatures with an inborn barometer so to speak to recognize certain acts that on instinct don't feel right. As an extreme but widespread example most societies and cultures recognize that killing is wrong. <br />
However in more a typical day to day example others will have varying opinions according to a host of diverse backgrounds and influences, perhaps it's due to nature of insensitivity when one uses the "normal" label to shame another. <br />
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To me normality is purely a subjective quality as I hold that only our own personal beliefs define our reality. I'm happy and secure enough in what I know to be right or wrong but I also know that others may have developed other means to this knowing. I can respect that every single one of us has our preferences but I don't think there is an ideal and therefore no ideal to strive against, simply the freedom to be what we want no matter what label that makes us. Just the comfort with who we-as individuals-are. That I am sure of is a right that we all deserve.<br />
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When I took a Sociology class the norm was presented through "social mores" things a particular society values and takes pride in and conversely taboos or such things that a society or culture sees as morally wrong. Such a class may be of interest to you as it taught me a lot about the group nature of values.