Normal is a definition. There is a collective definition.
It’s a definition that refers to our community. It’s the expectations of what society provides us with. The benefits and protections. It’s a definition of freedom.
It has now been transformed by the established will to protect individual health and collective health systems.
For many, it is taking away the ability to contribute to the economic aspects of society through one’s work. Either they step back and wait or they step up and develop ways they had not used until now to find economic stability.
The collective definition of normal isn’t the only one. Individuals adapt it to their own situation to have their own definition of normal.
They connect what they perceive of reality with their worldviews and their desires. It’s a normal they seek to establish with those around them.
That’s where we always struggle with liberty, the idea to be unencumbered. Restrictions we never expected to be imposed on our way of life or behavior have become a necessity. What seemed normal yesterday has new limits today. Seeing a person’s smile has been given up in places now requiring us to wear masks. Elderly people finding it normal to enjoy spring outside are now asked if they are out of sanity when doing so. Children have to learn to get along alone or with their siblings instead of making friends on the playground.
It is changing the way we connect with one another.
We are learning to do without physical closeness. We are building relationships across oceans and at distance. We see those who need help nearby. We care and provide support. We notice that it’s challenging to get some of the products we used to have.
It is changing our perception of what we will be looking for locally and globally. For some trust is now local, for others, it has become global.
It transforms the power governments have. There are those gaining or losing trust. There are those using the situation to attribute themselves more power and those losing power as other institutions take over.
None of this will ever go back to what we used to have. It can’t.
Our current experience will have changed us too much to be able to revert to where we were.
Normal is the Zeitgeist.
Normal is what exists now.
Normal is what we’ve chosen to live with.
It doesn’t come back.