In my last post, I discussed the term normal based on the definition of its root word. Now, I’d like to explore another side of normal that I’m not sure everyone sees. This topic hinges on my observation that certain behaviors in our culture are “becoming” normal that would not have been considered so even a few years ago. For discussion I’d like to set an arbitrary limit on what is normal. So, let’s say a behavior is normal if it applies to at least one-third of the group in question. Sound good? Well, it’s my article, so you’ll have to live with my rule.

According to the US Census Bureau, the American divorce rate is somewhere over 50%; 41% of all births are to unwed mothers and 30% of all children grow up in single-parent homes. By my definition, then it is normal for people to be divorced and normal for women to give birth outside of marriage. One could conclude that those two factors are leading the single-parent homes statistic into normalcy. That is, they are causing that number to grow and therefore become the norm.

According to the US Federal Reserve, the average (normal) American family debt ratio is 16%. That doesn’t sound too bad and the trend is going in the right direction, but that tied to the paltry amount of money the normal household saves makes financial instability the country’s norm.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 36% of adults aged 20 and over are obese. For children 2 to 19 the number is just under 17%.

Where am I going with these random facts gleaned from the Internet? I don’t want to be normal!!! I don’t wish normal on my children or my grandchildren! The American dream used to be normal. Hard work, respectfulness, caring for others and not complaining used to net a person prosperity. We’re heading to a place where fathers in the home are optional. They used to be relied on to provide. Now the state will meet your needs and if you want more money, single mom, just go get pregnant again! I don’t want this kind of normal! Thomas Paine wrote some pamphlets a couple hundred years ago entitled “Common Sense”. Written today, they’d have to simply be called “Sense” because there’s nothing common about it. Each one would have to come with a glossary to define words like sense and prudence.

Today in the US we send our kids to state run schools so they can learn about different forms of sexual expression and that broken homes are really just non-traditional households. The basics of a classical education have been lost. Teachers can’t give homework because the kids will refuse to do it. Good teachers are hobbled by having to teach to the test. Achievement has been marginalized by ridiculous grading methods and an “every kid gets a trophy” mentality. We should be less worried about our kids being shot at school and more worried that they’re being indoctrinated into a culture of low morals, low intellect and low aims. The odds they’ll die by homicide or suicide at school is 1 in 1 million (NPR). The odds they will learn that the New Deal was the best thing to happen to America and that rich white people are evil is 1 in 1.

Our young people are taught more often by their peers than by adults. They flock to anyone they think is telling them the truth or at least promising them a fun time. As a result, more young people in America can identify the latest pop icon than can tell you who Jefferson or Madison were. More adults in this nation can name the Ice Road Truckers than can name the twelve apostles. The sheep have lost the ability for independent thought. They can only follow the masses and cling to entertainment as their god.

It should tells us something that Dr. Laura Schlesinger had a very successful career and made a lot of money by simply telling people to do what they already knew was right. Dave Ramsey is currently building a business empire. What is he selling? Our grandparents’ advice: don’t spend more than you make, save for a rainy day and pay cash for everything. Do we need to make him rich for telling us that?!?!

No, I don’t want normal. I despise this new normal. I will continue to walk the rougher dirtier road of thinking for myself. I will home school my children, attend “church” with a few friends in a living room, I will largely ignore pop culture and instead fill my mind with the old normal.

What do you think?