We’re often referred to as other than normal by many people. Just ask Brandilynn Collins, ACFW conference MC, as she announces to us that there are others sharing the hotel with us. Normals, if you will. And to be careful talking in elevators about our stories. You killed him how? What did you use? Did the police find out?
So, yes. We are square pegs trying to fit into round holes.
From kindergarten on, we are pushed, prodded, disciplined, encouraged, forced, coerced, any number of things to try and make folks who are square pegs fit into the so-called acceptable mold. A round hole. You know, the 9-5 banker type who does exactly as he or she is told by the exact method spelled out for him.
What does that do to ADD, ADHD, or any other label given to a child when he or she doesn’t fit the mold? She can’t sit still. He can’t stop gawking out the window because something’s happening out there. Where do you think police officers, firemen, or military personnel come from? They are wired to “be on the lookout” for anything that might harm the rest of society. And they start when they’re small. They wriggle in their seats, talk out of turn (“teacher, teacher, there’s a man outside the window!), get up, hop around, interrupt the desired peace of the classroom. And in our infinite wisdom—not so much—we do our best from day one to discipline this out of our kids.
We are all, let me say that again, ALL wired differently. Some folks can be forced into a particular shape (they will probably be unhappy the rest of their lives), and some can be lured (a 6-figure salary to do exactly what drives them insane). But a few escape the norm. A few go on to accept their calling in life.
Think about it. God made each of us so unique, that no two people are alike. Even identical twins have differences. They can be different heights, weights, etc. due to their environment. So NO two are exactly alike. Why should we be forced to fit anyone’s mold?
We began to weed out God’s unique calling on us in the forties when John Dewey of the Dewey Decimal System, also a philosopher and psychologist, encouraged humanism which we know moves us further from God…hence…we began losing our uniqueness. His influence on public schooling was a serious precursor to that loss as teachers began to be expected to use a one mold fits all for each student.
So the very creativity that we embrace as writers, educators and society have done their best to chip away at so our corners can be smoothed and refined until we are round, and we finally fit with what others think we should be. Our careers that require decidedly tough personalities become social experiments. Our quirkiness is frowned on. Our steps outside the box are reined in until we no longer dare to step out, and are unable to recognize ourselves and our worth.
And…we no longer step into a hotel elevator discussing how to murder someone in our stories, we don’t write happy endings—because that’s not real life, right? And we no longer stand on the cusp of greatness, daring to be different.
Yes, there are others in the hotel. There are normals.
I think normal is way over-rated!