“It’s a perfectly normal thing to do.” “All guys do it.” “Everyone does it.” “It’s expected that the young party hard.” “All guys watch porn.” “Everyone should get drunk to know what it feels like.” “Hey, it’s normal.”
I can’t think of any more phrases off the top of my head, but then, I don’t believe this type of phrase works, and therefore don’t use it often if ever.
Does anyone else see the inconsistency of these types of phrases? Lemme retranslate each phrase in the same order of what people are really saying:
“It’s something I did when I was younger and justify my misbehavior by saying everyone else does it.”
“I did it, they should to, or I’ll at least make myself part of a group so what I do doesn’t seem so bad.”
“Don’t blame me, blame everybody. You can’t punish everyone, cuz if everyone does it, it can’t be wrong.”
“I wish I could still party as hard as I used to.”
“I can’t stop guys from porn and they’re so sexual, I’ll just make myself feel better by saying it’s something I can’t control.”
“Let’s get drunk.”
“Everyone I know does it, and those who don’t are geeks, nerds or just plain weird.”
It’s not normal folks. Tell yourself that till your face turns blue, but “normal” is a poor description of just about anything in life, most especially when justifying self-destructive behavior.
Normal is normally unacceptable.
If you justify that all guys or all girls do anything, you probably don’t know more than one kind of guy or girl. We, the two sexes of humanity, (and sometimes those who arrive as both), come in all shapes and sizes, physically and metaphorically. If you believe you can pigeon hole destructive behavior for the genders, I’d say you’re rather ignorant of how much variety of people there are out there in this world.
If you expect the young to party hard, it sounds like you didn’t raise your own very well. If you do your job as a parent and teach the how to balance freedom and responsibility, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting called to the hospital as they pump your daughter’s stomach to save her life after binge drinking at the frat party, experiencing who-knows-what else after she blacked out.
All guys watch porn? I can say that most guys do. It’s an easy trap for most men. But today God has broken me free of that. And while each day is a struggle, I am free of it. I can assure you I am not the only one free, and I can promise you that it’s an unacceptable activity. It eats men, and women, alive inside and they don’t even know it because it’s so proliferate. Don’t make it okay for guys to look at images of naked women if you want his eyes only for you. Demand self control of him. He can do it, if he values you enough. Or more importantly, values His God and himself enough.
The whole “Don’t knock it till you try it” phrase is a bit worn on me and I’ve never really liked that concept. It’s one thing to be open to trying new things, like dishes as a foreign restaurant, camping out in various locations, trying a new sport or game. But getting drunk isn’t one of those, just like playing Russian Roulette, snorting a line on a mirror, kissing a guy, or any number of other activities I can see with my own eyes have undesirable effects on the mind and quality of a person.
“Hey, it’s normal.”
No it’s not, and normal is rarely a good thing. I grew up in high school someone no one would have called normal, and the older I got, the more I realized how wonderful that was. Do you know what normal is in high school? Someone who doesn’t puncture the status quo, who doesn’t worship the popular kids or didn’t fit into their neat and tidy expectations of behavior. When you become an adult, you begin to realize that normal doesn’t even really exist. It’s a misnomer of expectations that really only apply to small groups of people who know each other.
And beyond all that, normal is boring and sheepish. I’m having the absolute time of my life operating in a manner completely different than everyone else. I spend my meals with people laughing from my jokes, providing working tools for people who didn’t expect them, engaging with people I’ve never met without waiting for the “appropriate” moment.
Life is so much fun and, believe it or not, so clean and healthy right now. I enjoy my faith, my God, my work and my life and I am anything but normal. I write novels, do professional voice work, travel for the Air Force Reserve, sing open mic nights, emcee and host major conference events and write this dainty little blog five nights a week. Life is pretty awesome, and it’s anything but normal.
People tell me how much they admire me or what I do, and I tell them that I’m not special — Everyone is capable of having their own variety in their lives, but they must be willing to leave “normal” behind! Go follow your passions and ignore everyone else. Be alive! Be true! And be clean, it is possible!