When “Normal” is No Longer Good Enough
Recently, I was chatting with a friend who indicated that he couldn’t wait for things to go back to normal. Of a truth, he is not the only one expressing this desire. Even folks who have a penchant for working at home and/or staying indoors are yearning for that golden moment when we will be in the clear for routine outdoor interactions. But what happens when the “normal” we all seek no longer exists? What if someone told you that going back to normal is no longer an option because “normal” is not good enough? Truth be told, a normal reaction to an abnormal situation is what landed the world in a lockdown situation (be it partial or complete lockdown). There must therefore be an abnormal reaction (across multiple platforms) to an abnormal situation to rid us of this predicament. .
The dictionary defines normality as the state of being usual, typical or expected. Wanting to be normal by itself it not wrong ; it’s a safe place to be, a place of comfort, order, knowing what to expect and how to respond. The dilemma with normal is that it seldom produces greatness. Abnormal in this context does not necessarily mean changing everything at once but instead, looking at the same situations differently and trying to explore new ways of making an issue better. For example, let’s say you are a dressmaker and your specialty has always been making fine clothes for your clients. You are great at what you do and your clients have come to rely on you all these years.
You live in a community where an adult day care program recently opened its doors to address the growing need of keeping older folks engaged during the day while others are out working. You are reliably informed that they could utilize the services of your dressmaking skills once a week for 2 hours to teach these folks some new skills. Your initial thought is that this is not what you normally do, besides, it does not make economic sense for your business, plus where would you even find the time to do such? The above sentiment may be accurate, but the reality is that if you pondered over that request a little bit further, and thought outside the box for a minute, you will find that what lies ahead of you is an opportunity to evolve into something great and to impact many.
While it may not be a financially lucrative adventure, it is definitely one that can bring hope to many folks. You already have the skills, raw material, people and place. What remains is having a renewed mindset and the willingness to do things in an “abnormal” way. Perhaps you could delegate or restructure your existing business in such a way that it frees you up a bit to do something “abnormal”. There is no telling what dividends this act of service would yield but one thing is for certain; we move towards greatness when we love ourselves enough and begin to extend that some kind of love into every situation and decision we make.
Sometimes, we must place social cost above economic cost. One of my favorite quotes says that “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. There is nothing truer than this statement. We live in a globalized world where one nations actions impacts the rest; there is a rippling effect for every action and reaction. We can no longer continue to act and think as though we live by ourselves. We ought to make a shift from an individual mindset to a global perspective and we ought to show compassion and share knowledge like never before. It is the one thing that will keep us from being normal because normal is no longer good enough!!!!