Monday, June 22, 2009

Next to Normal

This was homework in Philosophy I (the first one, actually). We were made to write about our very own question about… well, anywhatever.

I was six years old when I first became aware that a school called UP actually existed. Before that, I used to think of that long stretch of stone wall that we’d pass on our way home every evening as just ‘one of those places’ that didn’t really concern children. However, what many people told me about this ‘UP’ was entirely different from how we’ve been taught to define ‘school’ in school.

Don’t go studying there. It’s the home of weirdoes.

Of course, I’d have to find out for myself a few more years later, when college seemed near enough to matter already, that UP transcends the disparaging descriptions I’d been fed with as a child. Weirdoes, however, and the concept of ‘weird’ continued to linger in my mind. After all, school and church are one in saying that we must avoid judging people and should accept them for who they really are.

But what is weird? What is it in someone or something that makes us say he, she, or it is weird? Is it in the way he looks or makes us feel, or the way by which he lives every day? Does how a person affect another define weirdness – or normality, for that matter? Or does everything simply have to do with the standards that society itself set and adheres to?

Many would say that a man who cannot sleep without his right hand covering his right eye and his left hand grasping his right wrist, or one who eats with his mug and drinks with his plate, falls under the category of ‘weird’. But if you sleep without any bother as to where your hands are, or if you eat with your plate and drink with your mug, then what are you? Normally, people would call that normal (at least, under the dictates of psychology or human behavioral science). Normally, what’s ‘not normal’ has to be ‘weird’. But weirdly enough, nobody’s exactly normal.

So then, does what other people label you really matter? Is there truly a difference between normality and weirdness? Because on the contrary, many times, weird simply happens to be normal. And by then, many, many people would rather call themselves weird – or weirdoes.

No comments: