Normalcy ; a changing phenomenon
What is normal? This is a rhetorical question for everyone to ponder upon.
In a world where culture, religion and perception are vastly changing, you tend to imagine what is really normal.
This concept has eroded into mental health disorders as the line between normality and abnormality is gray.
In other words, this makes it hard to outrightly stick to a point of view. It could be said sometimes that this could be as a result of lack of information or dearth of knowledge. But it is seen that things are rapidly evolving and some others vanishing. Fashion for example has immensely been recreated. To some they say “they re killing the good old days”. Music has also taken the other turn.
Normalcy spans across culture, time and society. What is seen as normal in a culture is abnormal in another culture. Even the classification of mental disorders has changed probably as a result of different understanding of the disorders.
These disorders are sometimes called variants. Conditions like homosexuality which was seen as a mental disorder has been espunged from the nosology of mental health disorders. Some other conditions are currently going through review such as the gender dysphoria.
This concept of what is normal or abnormal seems so vague. In biology, it would be said some people have chromosomal anomalies. Sometimes there might not be obvious physical abnormalities but because it is out of the range common to many people. This will be called abnormal. So it is obvious that any condition common to the minority group of people be it physical or behavioural is considered abnormal. This occurs irrespective of how beneficial or maliferous the characteristics are.
In another context, the culture of the people comes into play. What is acceptable in some cultures is repealed in another. Many Africans have found it hard to come to an understanding of some patterns of behaviours adjudged as normal in the European world. There has been lingering issues about LGBT that some cultures have seen it as a deviance from normal functioning. It is a matter of time we would be able to know if that will be accepted or continually dispelled by these people. A perspective of seeing this is that it impairs the rights of a minority of a group of people. They are humans and have the right to live in the most comfortable way they wish. Another view is that these people have a disorder and they need treatment as this is a variant from normal functioning.
Some major aspects of behaviour are shaped by a few dominant group of people. These are the “Who is Who” of the society. They also include leaders of a revolution or a religion. To a large extent, what is called normal and appropriate is based on the religious inclinations of the people.
In the past, some have talked about normalcy in relation to mental health problems. R. Laing who had a controversial perspective said normality is a forced conformity and mental health problems arise when people try to find the reality.
We have come to a point where what we think is normal today may be considered outrightly out of place in a future we are not aware of. Are we not at risk of losing all the values, culture and beliefs that we hold in high esteem.
The other issue is that people are under intense pressure to succumb to socially accepted rules and values. And any deviation from these will be deemed abnormal. Also, to what extent should we accept to various new changes in the society.
As the world drags ahead, individual values should be respected. For as long as every development of the spectrum of normalcy is determined, it should never erode into individuals’ right to life and other basis of existence. As long as this is preserved , there may be a good omen for the years ahead.
“The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood , the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of Justice” — Martin Luther King, Jr.