What is Normal?

I work in the Information Technology industry and have designed and implemented a number of large systems supporting global requirements.    Each system is different.  Each system has its own unique way of being measured and behaving.    Each system was designed for a different set of business reasons in different market or industry segments.    Each system had its own business cycles and rhythms.    Each system had its own definition for what what was expected or “normal” behavior.   Each system is measured against itself.  Not benchmarked across other systems of its type.   Benchmarking was/is not really viable as there are too many variables too many differences to form a clear and real picture for an apples to apples comparison.   If there are not clear differences between companies or systems then its time for a merger. Generally benchmarking systems against systems from different companies is not possible.

For each of us as people we are all on our own journey through life.   We all have our own path our own destiny, defined by our own beliefs.    We all are shaped by our individual experiences.   We are all defined by our capabilities.      Each of us has to define what is normal for us.    This definition of normal has to be for us only. We each have a rhythm physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, whatever.

There are societal “norms” behaviors etc. that are expected from us to belong to the group.    Go outside the norms and bad things will happen.   Isn’t that why we have psychiatrists and police officers?

The biggest problem I see is that people have defined themselves against “norms” to be part of a group.   As apposed to defining for themselves what is “normal” and living their life and choosing to accept “norms” as they serve our purpose or not.

I have had to define my own “norm” or “normal”.    For me none of the models I perceived would work for me.    I cannot be a “typical” male as I don’t drive.  I can’t be a “typical” female since I’m not.   I’m not sighted, I’m not blind.    I am what I am. The unique blend of voice like a fog horn tenacity like a train and intellect like a raptor. There are things that make me who I am and what I have to live with. I couldn’t fallow in my families footsteps.  I couldn’t take advantage of all of their experience in living and working as my families solutions didn’t work for me.

My Mother told me she raised me differently than she raised my Sister. Its funny at points in my this raised issues of favoritism between my Sister and I. In the end I think it was the right thing. After all we are both very different people. Even with my own children I do love them differently. There are differences between oldest and youngest boy and girl. They are two different people. I serve them both the best I can and we continue to have issues of favoritism.

My “normal’ is defined by some male stereotypical things.   As an aside, one of the best compliments I’ve ever received is that, “I am a Man”.   But I’ve taken some feminine items and added them to my model.    The balance between masculine and feminine has served me well.  I’ve included different cultural and spiritual items. There are things I’ve taken from the sighted people around me and things from the blind people I’ve encountered.    I’ve learned from down and out people.   From people with other disabilities or nationalities. I’ve learned things from religious people and spiritual people.

I like to think that I’m flexible adaptable able to grow able to feel deeply able to learn quickly.  I make decisions decisively and I learn from my mistakes.

I’ve been forced to deal with my reverse prejudice against sighted people and blind people.   Its not easy being in the middle. Having residual vision so not being blind or blind enough, or being told I’m not blind because I function too well. Yet I challenge anyone who tells me I’m not blind to let me drive their car. I’ve learned to allow others stand up and meet the challenge as thats what I expect from people.    I’ve been taught by so many people and parented and mentored by others.

My normal is an amalgam for many interactions and many sociological and physiological models.    It works for me.

Yes I do conform to some of the norms of society.   At least I wear cloths in public.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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