Recently, I was having a conversation with a deep thinker who was trying to quantify “normal”. We pondered the term from the perspective of what a “typical” experience or life trajectory might be only to reach the conclusion that there were so many variables it seemed a somewhat irrelevant exercise for our purposes. “Normal” we realized, was a perception often dictated by the way other families appear compared to your own: the way others seem compared to what you know about yourself and not necessarily what was true or relevant about others. It did however lead us to looking at how we judge ourselves in relation to others, to how and where and if we fit in and to ways that the need to belong both motivated and curtailed our natural abilities and talents. Finding within ourselves our own centre, our own reference points from which to grow as we cultivate our interests, values and ways of being in the our family and kinship networks, communities and environments in which we live and work allows us to harvest the joys from celebrating our uniqueness.
Max Erhmann wrote his timeless prose: Desiderata in 1927. His message continues to inform and inspire us to appreciate that we all have a purpose and place in the universe.