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Why Normal Isn’t Normal (Yes, this includes you.)

So, I’m sitting at Starbucks in Portland, Oregon, sipping my Americano and watching people. Weird people. Lots of them.

Of course, this city prides itself on being weird. It’s not unusual to see bumper stickers that read, “Keep Portland Weird.” And they are succeeding. Enormously.

A guy just came in dressed entirely in yellow. Yellow shoes, yellow shorts, a yellow shirt topped off with a yellow hat. And I don’t mean a soft, pastel yellow. It was a bright, bold, in-your-face-put-your-sunglasses-back-on yellow. (I had to resist the urge to ask him what color his briefs were. In Portland, that might be misconstrued).

I also happen to be on vacation, and I’m spending time with my extended family. Weird people. Lots of them. There are old people, young people, conservative FOX news enthusiasts, liberal pot-smokers, dog lovers and dog haters, someone who make desserts for a living and somebody who makes planes, and every one of us is far from normal.

Me included.

Maybe it takes about sixty years to figure this out, but no one is truly normal.

Everyone has quirks. Everybody has something somewhere in their past or present that makes them atypical. Think about it; just the fact that we all are incredibly unique makes us anything but normal. If you define normal as “just like me” then you have a problem because nobody is just like you. You are one in a billion (more like seven billion)!

If you insist you’re normal, then let me ask you this: Who gets to determine normal? I’ve been all over the world, and trust me, “normal” in North America is not normal in Africa or Asia. Yes, we have things in common with a villager in Guatemala (i.e. we all need food, water or coffee, air, human contact, etc.), but Guatemalans are not the same as Oregonians.

We all are weird (meaning peculiar, unusual). We all are different, not all the same.

And it’s okay.

Perhaps, normal is a word used by boring people to make themselves feel better.

Of course, I’m not condoning weird or unbiblical behavior. One of the things I love about the Word of God is it is cross-cultural and cross-generational. A sin (as defined by the Scriptures) in Shanghai is a sin in Spokane.

But I am suggesting that some of us need to get off our arrogant self-erected pedestals of superiority.

Every family has its own measure of dysfunctionality, so stop looking down on others.

Every person has his or her broken parts. Some are just better at hiding their cracks.

Every one of us is a little weird, and if you don’t think that includes you, then you really are weird.

Someone once put it this way: “If weird is normal, and it is, then that means that if you are normal, you are weird. So in order to be normal you must be weird, which makes you normal all over again. Which is weird. It is a perpetual cycle.” (I bet you had to read that twice.)

I like to think that my blog is a bit of a travel guide for people doing life and relationships. That being said, you don’t have to unconditionally love and accept everyone’s unholy choices, but you must unconditionally love everyone, even the weird.

I hope this post has challenged you to embrace the people around you, even the ones dressed in neon yellow.

Jesus does.


Christ accepted you,

so you should accept each other,

which will bring glory to God.

Romans 15:7 (NCV)


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Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ellen

    Your blog made me laugh because the first gift I ever gave rick on his 16th birthday was a bright yellow turtle neck t shirt and bright yellow socks

  2. Momma

    WOW! No family secrets here. Revealed. In case any one is wondering the mother (me) of this litter is the FOX NEWS person. Or at least it used to be, watching TV less & less. Looking at my family history which I can back to the 1500’s, yes, you are right. As your sister has said “we may be a dysfunctional family but we emphasize the fun in dysFUNctional. However when I was a kid when Momma hung clothes outside to dry (called clothesline) she always hung the sheets & towels on the outside lines then underwear in the middle so nobody could see them. Get it? I laughed at your blog because it is true, but sometimes, not often, I do blush. But then I am old & don’t hang my “warsh” outside. 🙂

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