Quite often, when police take someone into custody, neighbors and friends tell journalists the person in question is normal. But what are they really saying? What are their frames of reference for normal? Do they mean the suspect’s behaviors were the norm? If so, they’re actually saying these behaviors, activities, are those which are customary, traditional, we’ve grown accustomed to (hearing about?). Norms aren’t always psychologically healthy behaviors. And lawful.*
Let’s open the doors.
Examples of the Norm
- BBQs during warm seasons
- Building snowmen during the winter
- Child abduction
- Family reunions
- Going to the beach
- Identity theft
- Standing for the National Anthem
- Taking vacations
- Violent verbal altercations
- Yielding to emergency service vehicles
If normal is a healthy psychological and law-abiding existence, the term applies to most of the population. Conversely, if behaviors which are commonplace, even though negative, are ignored because they mirror base aspects of a zeitgeist [which people conform to], normal is a skewed model. Individuals not only risk placing themselves in danger of societal predators, but ending up suspects in police investigations.
Looking forward to your comments.
*The post isn’t suggesting that ALL arrested parties have abnormal, criminal behaviors, thus guilty.