Am I a normal person? I don’t remember to have ever asked myself this question before. This surely is a sign of normality, I gather. Yet, something must be wrong.
On an hourly basis I hear of people who admittedly have a problem, no matter how tiny or big and no matter its nature. They seem to be the center of both local and global attention, which is after all normal, since this is what evolved societies should do. They spot the weak, the different and the endangered and then support them with a view to social integration. I find nothing wrong with that, truly. On the contrary, I have always taken side with the excluded. What sets me thinking though is the increasingly bulky evidence which points to a historic reversal. The ex-excluded have come to outnumber the ex-majority. Or so it seems if you listen to the voice of the mass media. Therefore I wonder whether this reversal is real or simply being falsely induced by the media. One thing is certain: exclusion sells.
No matter if it is past or present, exclusion appeals to man’s inquisitive nature. It has always been like that, no doubt. And throughout history it has been used by the powerful of the day as an important manipulation tool. Depending on what they wanted with the contemporary masses or the posterity, they employed exclusion to give dramatic lessons in obedience and faith or to write a history much called into question by today’s avant-garde historians.
That is why I presume that stories of the excluded, when applied to history, are reparatory and enlightening. There still might be some manipulation involved, of course, either voluntary or involuntary. But more points of view are better likely to complete a puzzle than scarcity of pieces. If history remains a puzzle with no definite solution, I think a little confusion is always preferable to delusion.
Exclusion has become today’s norm
Contemporary stories of exclusion have started as reparatory and turned mandatory. If you don’t have any experience with exclusion you’re not worth exposure. Whether author or protagonist, your story will be ruled out as uninteresting. Unless, of course, you are astute enough to reinvent yourself or rewrite your story along the lines of this new trend. Being or pretending to be anything but normal and accepted will turn the odds in your favor. Quite sadly, it is normal people that seem to be the excluded of today. Exclusion has become the norm.
No country for normal men and women
I have always seen everything in my life as beautiful. I interpret even the bad things as enlightening and I hate complaining. Why should I have to extract and foreground negativity and sorrow in order to attract attention? Shall I scour my ascendance for any episode of exclusion and beat the drums in public squares about it? And that in order to produce a salable label. Shall I sell a kidney or my soul on the Internet? Or shall I at least break a leg and crutch my way to a speaking stand?
Why are people so sure I have nothing interesting to say if I’m not terminally ill? Or if I don’t live in a poor village in Africa? Or if I don’t exhibit a bizarre persona? What if any simple thing is miracle to me? What if I have the power to turn normal into miraculous? What if beauty and light can teach life lessons as powerful as those taught by darkness, illness and hunger? What’s wrong about being normal, after all?
Unfortunately, it seems to me there is no country left in this world for normal men and women to have a voice. They are the excluded of today.