Why does this matter? Because too many people expect and react poorly to what is normal and not normal. Way, way too much unnecessary conflict is a product of this.
The current average American lifespan is a shade more than 78 years. In everybody’s life, they will have unique experiences. What you will experience along the way is different from what I’ll experience.
When it comes to the world stage, during our lifetime we will see anywhere from 10–20 United States Presidents, the economy will rise and fall continuously, and other world governments will be reshaped again and again.
I believe that since after WWII, we settled into the current normal. While that normal used be more favorable to the common person, since the 1980s it’s been tilted towards the ultra-wealthy.
After WWII, the taxation of the rich created a national infrastructure second to none, and the nation prospered. We established a nice, level normal where you could gain and grow — for the most part.
Yes, there was a tremendous amount of other social inequality that needed to be repaired. It would take several more decades to start creating more equality for blacks, women, LGBTQA, other people of color, and so on.
No, the process is NOT complete in this area — but we’ve come a long way since the 1950s.
Because we live in a fear-based society — which got seriously bolstered by the Cold War — change frightens people. Despite it being inevitable and constant, rejecting change — especially something that defies the normal — leads to conflict.
The collective consciousness and the normal
While your consciousness is unique to you, it still contributes to the collective consciousness.
The collective consciousness works on many different levels. Small groups, such as friends and family; to larger groups like towns and cities; on to still larger groups, like religions and nationalities. This is how we get the regional attitude differences across the United States. The people of the Midwest are different from the Northeast who are different from the Deep South and so on.
When you have an overarching expectation of normal based on a specific ideal — meeting it is automatically challenging. If, for example, the normal is working a 9–5 job, being married, and having 2 kids and a dog — I’m in defiance of that.
This idea of normal is still what many people cling to. Yet, realistically, that’s not normal for very many people at all. Of all my friends, I can think of maybe one couple living that life. A few others are close, but not living that precise variation on normal.
When change is afeared and we cling to a false normal, the collective consciousness experiences an upheaval. That is why Trump’s followers cling to the utter lie he has projected for himself. It matches the false narrative they want desperately to believe.
While there are numerous viewpoints even among the collective consciousness, two are dominant right now. The first seeks to hold onto a reality that has never truly existed — but is the expected normal. The second seeks to make progress towards a fairer, more equal society where people care more about each other than themselves.
When you know you are breaking away from the normal, you know there is going to be conflict. That can come on multiple levels, too.
The not-so-fine line between self-care and selfishness
Caring for yourself — and I am not writing about massages, spa treatments, or cosmetic surgery — is about taking care of yourself. When all is said and done self-care is about treating yourself with kindness, compassion, and even affection.
Ultimately, self-care is not selfish. Why? Because when you are kind to yourself, compassionate towards yourself, you tend to share that with others. You may become more open, and more attuned to how other people are feeling. Since being kind and compassionate to yourself is how you wish to be treated by others — you turn that outside of yourself and treat others in that way.
Taking a break, turning off your phone, avoiding conflict with someone, eating a good meal, taking a hot bath, and similar acts are self-care. They are not selfish.
Selfishness is doing something for yourself at the cost of others. Demanding a haircut in the middle of a global pandemic lockdown is selfish because you don’t care about the potential impact on others. Not wearing a mask is selfish because you don’t care if you make someone else sick.
An act that ignores the wellbeing of others is selfish. When a big business pays executives millions in bonuses — but pays their employees minimum wage — that’s selfishness.
Self-care is care. Care of the self tends to foment care of and for others. Self-care gives.
Selfish is uncaring. Taking for you without any regard to or for others. Selfish takes.
The expected normal of our society is selfish because it ignores giving and focuses on taking.
Many bad examples
Too many of our so-called leaders today are prime examples of the selfishness of the normal.
Trump, McConnell, and most of their cohorts care for only their personal power. They tell their followers they are all for them — distracting them from the robberies they themselves are committing. They create a false “us” versus “them” to drive their points home. The selfish entitlement they create and project is an example of rampant, uncontrolled selfishness.
How many megachurches offer false salvation and preach a selfish prosperity gospel? I am not a Christian, but I have read and studied enough to know that vast swaths of what is done and said in the name of Christ would have offended the man. He preached tolerance, love, caring, and selflessness. Some very selfish preachers are making obscene money while their parishioners barely make ends meet.
Profit is the money you make over and above operating expenses. When that money is in the billions of dollars — how do you justify demanding tax cuts as anything but selfish? That money — which could be reinvested in the employees or used to improve operations — tends to line the pockets of a select few. Yet time and again we see the uber-wealthy take and take while giving nothing back.
The false narrative of the normal explains that they are entitled to that. Take for yourself and who cares what happens to anyone else?
The bad examples are not the majority
The above-mentioned bad examples are the minority. They just have the resources to be super-loud. Further, they raise the volume to try and drown-out everyone else.
The big picture is messy. Presently, it is made up of more fear and uncertainty than most of us have ever experienced before. But this is a moment in time when all is said and done. It will pass — and you get to decide what that looks like for you.
I gave up trying to live in the expected normal a long time ago. Because I made that choice, I have had a more difficult time fitting into the big-picture of this society. Yet I believe in my path, and I care as much about you as I do about myself.
Today’s normal wasn’t the normal a hundred years ago. The normal of 100 years ago wasn’t the normal from 100 years before that. Change is constant — but our technology has accelerated aspects of it. The gradual change of 50 years ago is instantaneous today.
That, however, leaves some people behind. Some people work to help them get caught up. But some exploit their feeling of being left behind for their own gain.
Normal today will not be normal tomorrow
The normal will change. It always does. You get to choose for yourself how that will impact you. That means you can decide to care for yourself and care for others with whatever you do. You can be one of the good examples for those around you.
You get to choose what normal looks like for you. It may be — in part — a reflection of the normal of the collective consciousness. But it might be something utterly different. That’s okay — because this normal will not be the normal forever.
Be mindful not just of your thoughts, feelings, and actions — but of how you impact others around you. Self-care tends to start inwards but then project outwards. When that becomes part of your normal, you can help make it part of the normal for those around you, too.
Consciousness creates reality. I know what I would rather see for myself, the people I care about, and the world at large. That’s part of why I share my notions on these matters here.
The projected “new normal” of this time can and will pass. You and I have the power to speed that along for something better on the other side.
We are capable of so much more potential and possibility than the normal would expect. Exploring this is not selfish when you consider the impact of what you do on other people.
What do you want to do to experience that sort of new normal for yourself?
Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on September 23, 2020.