After the crisis
by Susan Nielsen
While reading a scholarly article regarding behavior during and after a crisis, I noticed a common reliance on the word NORMAL.
As humans, we all use “NORMAL” as the means for comparison. But what is normal?
“Never compare your insides to everyone else's outsides.”
― Anne Lamott
conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
"Normality is a behavior that can be normal for an individual when it is consistent with the most common behavior for that person. Normal is also used to describe individual behavior that conforms to the most common behavior in society."
After the crisis, will there be a “New Normal”? Or will we go back to our old comfort zone? The old behaviors that got us into this mess in the first place?
This medical crisis shows that although we know about different types of crises, natural and otherwise. We are still not prepared! We watch survival shows, apocalyptic movies and everyone can conjure up the picture of a Zombie- yet most are not prepared for even the smallest of natural disasters.
Apparently when folks are put into crisis mode the first thing they are concerned about it running out of Toilet Paper! I would have thought water and food would be foremost on everyone's minds- how wrong I was!
When folks are struggling to make ends meet on a monthly basis there is no room for emergencies! Families are too busy “keeping up with the Jones's” making sure their kids have the latest electronics and the best labels in clothing, because heaven forbid that anyone actually know the truth- that most families are close to bankruptcy.
Why is the facade so important? Why not just put the family on a budget and live within your means? Because that's NOT NORMAL!!
So, in essence, the word Normal has replaced good or bad when it comes to behaviors!
After our last crisis, of course, I am talking about 9/11, we had 9/12 the day after. The day we ALL became UNITED as American Citizens! Once again, we knew our neighbors, we knew what we had to do! A New Normal came into play but unfortunately, that was short-lived- as we went back to the Normal that we have been brainwashed to think is Normal!!
However, in this crisis, we are being told to isolate ourselves for our own good! We are told our friends, family, and neighbors could make us sick! So how does a community stick together when we are ordered to be apart?
The answers are not simple, we cannot grow fearful that someone will take away our toilet paper, we cannot isolate to the point of knowing our neighbor is out of toilet paper and not giving them any...
I believe genuine human kindness will prevail over fear, and that “Normal” will continue to adapt to human behavior or is it the other way around...