Inventory of Normality
By Paulo Coelho
For The Bali Times
I decided to conduct a survey among my friends about what society considers to be normal behavior. What follows is a list I have made of some of the absurd situations we face in day-to-day life, just because society sees them as normal:
1] Anything that makes us forget our true identity and our dreams and makes us only work to produce and reproduce.
2] Making rules for a war (the Geneva Convention).
3] Spending years at university and then not being able to find a job.
4] Working from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon at something that does not give us the least pleasure, so that we can retire after 30 years.
5] Retiring only to discover that we have no more energy to enjoy life, and then dying of boredom after a few years.
6] Using Botox.
7] Trying to be financially successful instead of seeking happiness.
8] Ridiculing those who seek happiness instead of money by calling them â€œpeople with no ambition.â€
9] Comparing objects like cars, houses and clothes, and defining life according to these comparisons instead of really trying to find out the true reason for being alive.
10] Not talking to strangers. Saying nasty things about our neighbors.
11] Thinking that parents are always right.
12] Getting married, having children and staying together even though the love has gone, claiming that itâ€™s for the sake of the children (who do not seem to be listening to the constant arguments).
13] Criticizing everybody who tries to be different.
14] Waking up with a hysterical alarm-clock at the bedside.
15] Believing absolutely everything that is printed.
16] Wearing a piece of colored cloth wrapped around the neck for no apparent reason and known by the pompous name â€œnecktie.â€
17] Never asking direct questions, even though the other person understands what you want to know.
18] Keeping a smile on your face when you really want to cry. And feeling sorry for those who show their own feelings.
19] Thinking that art is worth a fortune, or else that it is worth absolutely nothing.
20] Always despising what was easily gained, because the â€œnecessary sacrificeâ€ â€“ and therefore also the required qualities â€“ are missing.
21] Following fashion, even though it all looks ridiculous and uncomfortable.
22] Being convinced that all the famous people have tons of money saved up.
23] Investing a lot in exterior beauty and paying little attention to interior beauty.
24] Using all possible means to show that even though you are a normal person, you are infinitely superior to other human beings.
(continues next week)
Â© Translated by James Mulholland
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