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Normalcy And Today's Society This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Every time I read an article in the newspaper or turn on the TV, I trip over the word "normal." Why?

How can this society say that each person is different from every other and still establish a code of "normalcy"? What is wrong with this picture? And why has "being normal" become so important in these tumultuous and controversial times? Is it the downtrodden mass' way of fighting back against the small percentage of aristocracy, or does the problem lie elsewhere?

Just look around you right now. Somewhere, if not here, someone your age is being pressured to do something because "everyone else is doing it." Does this nasty little phrase sound as familiar to you as it does to me?

But what about those who are not, never will be, or never want to be "normal"? Just because a person does not fit in with society's obsessed image of "normal," they are shunned, humiliated, and cast out. Those of us who have made niches for ourselves on the outskirts of the norm know that it is unbearably difficult to fight the current, to be ourselves.

There was a time when we all co-existed in harmony, those of us who never speak anymore. But that time was in kindergarten, when the major concerns were who got to use the purple crayon first or who tied their shoes the fastest. But now, we're all grown up, aren't we? Too old for such petty concerns. And yet, which is more petty: fighting over crayons, or judging by outward appearances? I'm inclined toward the latter, and it is this which saddens me so about this "'90s generation," a generation that needs not to be shadowed by inconsequential bickerings among ourselves over who is more normal. We need to present a united front and a clarity of vision if we are to receive the torch of power in this decade and allow that precious flame to burn without harm. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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