Inventory of Normality (continued)

By Paulo Coelho
For The Bali Times

I asked some friends to make a list of things that so-called “normal” people have to observe very closely. Here I end this inventory of absurd things:
25] In any kind of public transport, never looking straight into the eyes of the other passengers, as this may be taken for attempting to seduce them.
26] When you enter an elevator, looking straight at the door and pretending you are the only person inside, however crowded it may be.
27] Never laughing out loud in a restaurant, no matter how funny the story is.
28] In the Northern hemisphere, always wearing the clothes that match the season of the year: short sleeves in springtime (however cold it may be) and a woolen jacket in the fall (no matter how warm it is).
29] In the Southern hemisphere, decorating the Christmas tree with cotton wool, even though winter has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.
30] As you grow older, thinking you are the wisest man in the world, even though not always do you have enough life experience to know what is wrong.
31] Going to a charity event and thinking that in this way you have collaborated enough to put an end to all the social inequalities in the world.
32] Eating three times a day, even if you’re not hungry.
33] Believing that the others are always better at everything: they are better-looking, more resourceful, richer and more intelligent. Since it’s very risky to venture beyond your own limits, it’s better to do nothing.
34] Using the car as a way to feel powerful and in control of the world.
35] Using foul language in traffic.
36] Thinking that everything your child does wrong is the fault of the company he or she is keeping.
37] Marrying the first person who offers you a position in society. Love can wait.
38] Always saying “I tried,” even though you haven’t tried at all.
39] Putting off doing the most interesting things in life until you no longer have the strength to do them.
40] Avoiding depression with massive daily doses of television programs.
41] Believing that it is possible to be sure of everything you have won.
42] Thinking that women don’t like football and that men don’t like interior decoration.
43] Blaming the government for everything bad that happens.
44] Being convinced that being a good, decent and respectful person means that the others will find you weak, vulnerable and easy to manipulate.
45] Being convinced that aggressiveness and discourtesy in treating others are signs of a powerful personality.
46] Being afraid of fibroscopy (men) and childbirth (women).
47] And finally, thinking that your religion is the sole proprietor of the absolute truth, the most important, the best, and that the other human beings in this immense planet who believe in any other manifestation of God are condemned to the fires of hell.

© Translated by James Mulholland

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