I’ve often heard this statement: “The weather is just not normal today.”
This has been the sentiment for the past few years of course, but how does one define the weather as being “normal?” Is it ever normal? Perhaps the weather is always normal, as it constantly shifts and changes patterns in a structured yet random order. In being abnormal it is, in fact, normal. This is the weather paradox that can be seen contrasted with the sphere of human behavior.
We all know that everyone is different, yet we classify some people as “normal” or otherwise. So then we come to the question: What constitutes normal human behavior? Is there such a thing, or are we just as the weather? We all change, grow, shift and move as the weather. In another perspective this is the human paradox.
One example of human behavior is a man that many people knew many years ago. This man was considered “normal” by all that knew him; just an average ordinary Joe. He was regarded as a handsome man, very charismatic and fun to be around. By all western cultural standards he was simply “normal.”
Now, when I tell you that this man’s name was Ted Bundy, the perspective shifts. This was the man who confessed to committing nearly 30 homicides in seven different states. He was a murderer, rapist and a necrophiliac; convicted and executed by electric chair.
Is this normal? Most would agree that this behavior is classified as well beyond normal, and far below moral. But in our world, the question still remains. Was Ted Bundy behaving normally in his own mind? He could very well have been. What is normal for one is not the same for another. Though this man, to me, was not by any stretch a normal person.
This is the paradox. Though we all change, grow and shift, we cannot define normal among such a large grouping of human behavior. It is as diverse and varied as it is infinite, just as the weather. We must all have cultural standards for society with social and moral norms; laws and punishment, but a realization must be made that comparing normal to abnormal is largely a combination of state of mind, cultural consciousness and personal perspective.
In this sphere, are we normally abnormal, such as the weather? Or, are we as right as the rain? This is up to you. In the meantime, regardless of rain or shine, I opine that we cultivate compassion and heartmind connections to spirit and to each other, then perhaps the Bundy’s will disappear from existence.
30 thoughts on “The Weather Paradox”
Yeah!!! (I mean,good points 😉 :P)
Thought it was an interesting post I shared it with my twitter list
Well put. 🙂
I couldn’t agree more! ~ signed abnormal on purpose! 🙂
CAN’T wait for your book! Terrific Post!
To compare us to the weather is a fairly accurate description…S if anyone asks me, “What’s wrong with you today?”…I’ll just answer..”I’m just changing like the weather…and you have learned to accept that “weather” changes…so why not me!
I remember being told once that the only thing that was normal was the “normal” cycle on a washing machine… ~ 😉
Sometimes I think that the desire to define “normal”, or admonish people to be “more normal” is a way of forcing people into boxes in which they do not belong nor want to be. I suppose it’s more like “normal range” — where there is some fluidity to it — for both weather *and* people!.
Who wants to be normal anyway?
What can I say? Another brilliant post! Thank you. 🙂
There is no objective or absolute morality, so any act is by nature neither good nor bad. It may or may not be average, but it is not good or bad. Normal would then be ‘average’ and that average would be the most common behaviors. Bundy was not average in all ways, just some. In an over all gradient he is an outlier from average. Just the same, he was normal LOL
yeah, that made sense… in an average kind of way? right?
Truth on many points. Nothing is good or bad, it only “is.” All contain both all compliments and both polarities. Weather or humanity; we are multi-dimensional; not understood by one facet alone.
Most folk don’t give me so much ‘leeway’ as it were. Fewer still will admit that an action has no intrinsic value. It’s a philosophy thing which can be applied equally to physical acts as to thought. Was Hitler evil and Joshua good? The pronouncement of good or bad is always a subjective thing which has no value outside of the scope of ‘average’ within our chosen society. Yes, we choose our society. In this way we can understand how Bundy operated in our society and seemed average but was not. He did not choose our society’s version of average but instead chose carefully how to act on the confrontation between ours and his own version of average.
Note carefully that closeted homosexuals and atheists also choose carefully how to act on the confrontation between society’s version of average and their own. In addition to this, those who were enslaved chose to act carefully on the confrontation between their version of average and that of the society they lived in. In the act of their confrontation we all achieved a differing version of average. So it is that condemning one version in respect of another is often folly rather than conformity, even when the opposite seems true. All hail change and progress, unless it is an outlier… right? In this singular way, all who protest are brothers regardless of what they protest.
A new idea must necessarily die of loneliness before it can be found in the average. Curie, Pasteur, Einstein, and others… all have been outliers. Thank all that is good in existence that they were not conformists. It is not only good that we find ourselves in conflict with what exists, what is normal, but the progress of humanity demands that we do so. Some of us, like Bundy, will fail to bring positive change but only when we dare to not conform do we in fact create what is best and most wonderful about humanity. Intelligence without change is wasted. Existence without confrontation is useless. Vive la difference. Without change we would cease.
I’m quite sure that others don’t share your perspective, nor would they give “leeway.” This is systemic culture at its finest. No matter your beliefs, I personally share many like points of view. You might be surprised to know (or not) that many of your views that you stated quite logically are largely in line with both Buddhist and Taoist beliefs systems. Confrontation is a part of life, it is inescapable, no matter how many people decide to quantify it as illusion or happenstance, it exists because of choice; cause and effect. Without change or struggle, we do not grow; we do not experience and we do not live. Change is the only constant. 😉
LOL, the only thing that surprises me about the Buddhist is that they seem to attribute something special to humans. I might be wrong. What I’ve described is the essence of evolution. I know that I have much in common with the philosophy of the Buddhist but I think we disagree on why. I firmly believe that all the good that the christ was credited with bringing to the Jewish world was brought there from the East. The taoist seeks to find how to exist in the face of the change … as I understand it. In this we share a common theme, but I do not claim understanding as a medicine. Perhaps I’m far more like the Taoist or Buddhist than I understand. The struggle and understanding it do not calm me or give meaning but explain why I should not seek either calm or understanding. Understanding change tells me why unhappiness was wrong to start with. I think that I want to hear more. Thanks.
Taoists are like Buddhists somewhat but more concerned with the flow of nature and staying in tune with that natural flow. It is a very basic philosophy. Buddhists on the other hand are very diverse, depending on the doctrine, and there are quite a few doctrines these days. But a fundamental part of Buddhist teaching is to teach the student NOT to believe in the teaching, and rather weigh it against his own experience and interpret the teachings individually, then choose to believe or not. It is not about anything special of the human, but more of a question of “what?” What is special to the individual.. Personally, I move between all philosophy and religion. I enjoy it, but I admit that I am still searching, and choose to not conform to any formal doctrine. I’d rather make my own. Regardless, I like your style. You seem to have a very inquisitive yet logical mindset. I wish you well on your search in life brother.
I return the thought and wish you well, and enjoy that you be. I have found that I am. I am one of the most adaptable and prolific predators on this planet. This affords me nothing above what other animals experience but the time to contemplate why I might be. That I can do so means nothing nor does it confer on me any special value. Outside the confines of my own kind I am no more important than any predator on this planet. I am due no more respect or consideration than any lion or dog. Yes, I bite, but there is no reason to offer me respect outside the reach of my bite. It is quite a fortuitous accident that we human apes consider intellect a bite with long reach. I do not believe that the natural flow can be halted and thus keeping with it cannot be a useful pursuit. What we experience IS the natural flow necessarily. To believe otherwise is to give credit to the human ape which is not due it. Success is not superiority. Existense is not divinity. Despite my ability to think or contemplate I am no more useful to the universe than a virus.
I have not read or heard that either Buddhists or Taoists believe in this way… that human existence is useless.
If it was, neither you nor I would exist. Some say the ant is useless, or the cockroach, but they both exist as do we. So exists space, emptiness and the void. Without space, filling it is not possible. In existence we are both used and useless; we are both the cup and the space that makes the cup useful. Paradox; the thread that binds the fabric.
We can’t ever be normal enough but often we are far too normal. Maybe we change like the weather.
We indeed do change like the weather, but it is those that refuse to change with the weather that bring us progress.
Hi, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award http://decamvilledesign.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/day-74-another-award-thank-you-so-much/ ~Patricia
First time I’ve stopped by your blog: how strange that I came across this post and it was exactly what I needed in this moment. I remember being called “weird” as a child (okay… I still get called “weird” as an adult), and I remember having the same thought cross my mind: what is normal anyway? It’s nice to know there are people who have come across the same thoughts (many, considering all the comments). Good on you for writing this! Helped my day 😀
P.s. thank you for visiting my site, otherwise I might not have found your blog!
Here in Michigan, many people consider “normal” weather to be highly erratic and unpredictable. “It’s the lakes” they say in reference to the effect the Great Lakes have on the weather patterns in the area. “Just give it 15 minutes, and it will change again.” Seems like we have really embraced the unpredictably of the weather and deemed it normal, but many still ardently resist fluctuations in human behavior that do not fit with preconceived notions or the normality of one’s expected actions and pursuits. As long as we are not harming others or ourselves through expolration and changes in behavior, there shouldn’t be any expectation to be normal. For as you say, normal is all in the mind of the beholder.
Back in New England, we are fond of saying, “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes, it’ll change.” I love the comparison of weather patterns and their entirely subjective descriptions to our own behaviors/thoughts/actions and their entirely subjective (often underthought and vapid) descriptions. Truly intriguing. Thank you, Sir.
Thank you! Since moving here to the far north of New York I’m definitely learning to not listen to the weatherman..
Excellent post. Kind of funny to in that people equate talking about the weather as a safe, non-confrontational conversation when you can’t come up with anything else. Look at the number of comments your post generated. Normal can also be viewed as average. Not something I aspire to be. 😉
!Einstein’s special theory of relativity says the same in physics world! 🙂
I’ve always felt like it’s normal to be weird, but also weird to normal. Funny how you can’t have one without the other. You sum up the “human paradox” perfectly, I especially like the Ted Bundy reference 🙂
Compassionate and heart-felt connections between spirits and minds for all in the world SHOULD be the new “normal”. This is what I pray for!