Getting back to normal. On the surface that sounds positive. Some things that used to be normal were good . . . and would be good to get back to. But some other things that used to be normal are rightly jettisoned forever.
It used to be normal to use bloodletting to cure people of various diseases.
It used to be normal that females in the United States were not allowed to vote.
It used to be normal to whip children with leather belts to induce good values and behavior.
It used to be normal in Mississippi to lynch black men for Saturday night sport.
In the early-to-mid 20th century, Walter Freeman performed some 2,500 “lobotomies” on people in 23 states. He used an ice pick to enter the brain through an eye socket and, moving it back and forth, severed the connections to the prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobes. For decades, this practice was considered normal.
The list goes on and on of things that were once normal that are now known to be ridiculous. Known, that is, by sane people with common sense and quality education.
To be sure, there are changes from past traditions that are deleterious. For instance, a healthy respect for authority – elders, teachers, law enforcement officers – has to a large degree eroded to an inimical point in society. Authority can, of course, be abused and, if so, needs to be confronted. Yet a mindset that those in positions of authority have knowledge, experience, and wisdom from which one can benefit, and according them due respect, is a normal we would do well to embrace.
Discernment needs to be applied with regard to the value of old normal vs new normal. Normals can be helpful or harmful, and it behooves us to strive with everything we have for the helpful ones.