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Normal is a very relative term. What’s normal for me might not be normal for you. That can be good or that can be bad. Sometimes it isn’t good or bad, it’s just different. For example, pineapple on pizza is normal for some people and absolutely abnormal to others. Some people normally get up really early and are very chipper about it, and some only get up early if they absolutely have to and they’re normally grumpy about it. Some people need more help than others, and some people need less help. Some people are talented in one way, and some people are talented in another way.

But what if someone else’s normal is really, really different? Like, you might not even consider it normal even knowing “normal” is a relative term. For example, say someone struggles with physical health in ways you’ve never heard of. Say someone struggles with mental health in ways you’ve never heard of. Now let’s flip that around. Suppose you’re the one that people say isn’t “normal.” Say you’re the one struggling with something that most others don’t have a problem over, and so most others don’t understand. Whichever side of that you’re on, that’s normal.

Even if your life experience has been wildly different from someone else’s, that’s normal. Whatever the struggle, whatever the experience, that’s your normal. Whatever someone else has going on, that’s what this person deals with and lives through on a regular basis, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t interact with each other. It’s normal for us to be different.

Just because the generalized normal isn’t where you fit doesn’t mean you can’t interact with others. Just because the generalized normal is where you fit doesn’t mean you can’t interact with others. As someone I know once put it, we’re all “different shades of normal.”

God loves everyone, and we are to do the same. Regardless of who a person is, they are my equal, and just because their normal isn’t like mine doesn’t mean we’re too different to interact. Just because my normal doesn’t look like another’s normal doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground. As we get to know each other and become friends, our different shades of normal can come together into an entirely new shade.

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Listen to People
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