People think differently about normal

If you google the question 'How can I be normal', then brace yourself: from forums to YouTube, from quality newspaper to psychology blog, the internet is full of tips and advice that tell you how to be as normal as possibly can be. In itself that can be explained: if you are normal you will be accepted more quickly, you can belong and therefore you are not an outsider. But does that actually make sense? Does it make sense that we as humans all move to a nonexistent standard?

‘Normal’ is quite difficult to define. If you look for answers to the question "what is normal", you will find that normal is thought of very differently. Is a headscarf normal? A yellow vest, because you think you are being shorted? Is a transsexual normal? And two gay men kissing on the street? Do we let the majority determine what is normal for the minority?

What is normal for one person is not normal for the other and that suddenly makes things quite complicated. And yet we normally continue to raise standards. Still, we keep using it to box people in. Still, we continue to use it to sometimes even exclude people.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. And that’s in the word ‘different’. Instead of moving all together to a non-existent standard, we could also do the exact opposite: be very different. Indeed, it is these differences that make us human. It is the differences that define us. It is the differences that make you, you and me, me.

We therefore plea for space for these differences. To be yourself. Give the other space. For tolerance. A headscarf: who cares? Gay men kissing: so what? Why is a refugee a fortune seeker? Aren't we all looking for happiness?

That is why we would like to meet you on September 13 in Carré. Then we will together look at the performance "All People (Allemaal mensen)" by Toneelgroep Oostpool. A performance made by 14 young people about identity, but which in no time addresses topics such as religion, gender, orientation, skin color and #metoo. It turns out not to be one group, but a group of 14 people. Each with its own story. Stories we never hear because we don't ask. While these are the stories that make us human.

Afterwards we will meet in the Foyer and we would like to hear your story. That which makes you human, because that is what we really want to know!

There are still a few tickets (www.oostpool.nl). Will we see you there?

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Vandaag in het Financieele Dagblad.