If I could permanently ban one word from the English language, it would be the word “normal”. Why? Because the word “normal” is often used to describe an ideal or standard that is impossible for most people to achieve, and it creates a culture of shame and inadequacy that can be damaging to our mental health.
Think about it – how many times have you heard someone say something like “you should be more normal” or “that’s not normal”? The word is often used as a way to judge and label people, to put them in boxes and make them feel like they don’t measure up to some arbitrary standard. But, according to me, the reality is, there is no such thing as “normal”. We are all unique individuals with our own strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and preferences, and we should celebrate those differences instead of trying to conform to some impossible standard.
When we use the word “normal”, we create an ideal that is often based on societal expectations or cultural norms. For example, we might say that it’s “normal” for women to wear makeup, or for men to be strong and silent. But what if someone doesn’t want to conform to those norms? What if they prefer to express themselves in a different way? Using the word “normal” to describe certain behaviors or traits can be incredibly limiting, and it can make people feel like they have to hide who they really are in order to fit in.
Furthermore, the word “normal” is often used in a way that is ableist, meaning it discriminates against people with disabilities. For example, we might say that it’s “normal” to be able-bodied, or to have a certain level of cognitive function. But this kind of language can be hurtful to people with disabilities, who may already feel marginalized or excluded from society.
Instead of using the word “normal”, we should strive to be more inclusive and accepting of diversity. We should recognize that everyone has their own unique experiences, challenges, and strengths, and that these differences are what make us human. By embracing diversity, we can create a more compassionate and understanding world, where everyone is valued and respected for who they are.
So, what can we do to replace the word “normal” in our language? One option is to use more specific and descriptive language to describe people and behaviors. Instead of saying someone is “normal”, we can say they are “typical” or “average”, or we can describe their specific traits and behaviors without judging them. We can also make a conscious effort to recognize and challenge our own biases and assumptions about what is “normal”, and to be more open to different ways of thinking and living.
In conclusion, the word “normal” is a harmful and limiting term that should be permanently banned from our language. By replacing it with more inclusive and descriptive language, we can create a more accepting and compassionate society, where everyone is valued for their unique strengths and experiences. Let us strive to celebrate diversity and embrace the differences that make us human.
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