It's the ones that don't quite fit in that often attract my attention. When I am standing in line at the supermarket and there is just one cheery, talkative, fat guy commenting on other people's food choices, he gets my attention. Not because he's conversational or overweight necessarily, just because his behavior is so far from what everyone else is doing. In a way, I find him more appealing. If he wasn't there, I might notice other people more, but that's a different blog entry.
I'm thinking today about that one house on the block that is more dilapidated and sad-looking that all the houses around it. If every home in the neighborhood was in dire need of repair, that one house would be of little consequence. But when every other home seems well-kept and structurally sound, that one home gets my attention. It works just the opposite way, too; if there's one brand new, two-story palace on a block with run-down ranch-style homes, I think most people would notice the one that doesn't quite fit.
It's about how "normal" becomes defined, I think. We accept something as normal because of its abundance, not because of its quality. We may prefer a certain type of house when we consider it in isolation from its surroundings, but what winds up attracting our attention is the house that isn't "normal." We then form whatever judgments we want to about that particular home (or person), for good or for ill.
Don't get me wrong. I am capable of judging large groups of similar people, or houses, or whatever it may be. Our human minds do this all too well. But I am thinking today about "normal" because I am realizing how far my own vision for my life is from that measurement. What I want is not "normal" life. In my own way, I want to be the cheery fat guy in the checkout line, only with regard to my career, my creativity, and my connection with other people. There is absolutely no reason for me to accept "normal" as a quality to which I should aspire. That a lot of people live a certain way doesn't mean anything about what I can create when I reach for the fullness of my capability.
Of course, I am aware that there are any number of reactions from others that I just can't control. Some people are attracted to what's not "normal," but some people are afraid of it. And some people can be downright offended or hostile toward it. When I notice all of those other people in the checkout line, how many of them actually find that talkative guy appealing? What are all of those people in the other houses saying about that one home that doesn't fit in their neighborhood? Honestly, I don't know. It's that simple.