Future Building Personal Growth

The Value of Normal

Liked In Defense of Normal by Yancey Strickler (The Ideaspace)

We often underrate the value of normal.

We think normal means dull, average, or mediocre. Normal is unimaginative. Normal is being like everybody else…

But a strange thing happens in life: the farther we go, the more welcome normal becomes…

Normal means safety. Normal means others have been here before. Normal means we’re not the only one.

–Yancey Strickler

I think we all are missing normalcy right now, if not in ourselves, then in our lives. And to some extent that normal life *is* us, as what we do is what we are.

Learning that a challenge is normal is liberating. It goes from a personal shame to a badge of honor. This is what people (or companies, parents, couples, bands, etc) like me go through. They got through it. So can I.

Knowing what’s normal gives us a target to work towards, and lets us know when we get there…

We can’t define what’s normal on our own. We need our own experience plus an external reference point to know what’s normal. Our individual sample size is too small.

–Yancey Strickler

This defense of normal is, however, a celebration of similarity. We live in an age where what’s desirable is what’s different. But there’s more value in our non-individuality than we admit.

–Yancey Strickler

Another thought I had reading this, but not totally connected to what he’s saying, is that he is really trying to build the world he wants to live in by co-founding Kickstarter. He gave creatives and entrepreneurs a means to go directly to people and raise money or sell their products, cutting out the middle men and angel investors and democratizing the process of making by enabling anyone to directly support the projects they like.

What other infrastructure like this is missing, that would help build the future I dream of?

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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