Who is Norm?

Norm is an interesting character in that he has multiple identities.

I really do love the Norm that I know, and most of you also love him… although to you he will be slightly different. I would suggest that most (stress most) people in the industrialized world love their Norm, unlike in the “third world” countries where they probably wish he would make some serious adjustments!

Norm, through no fault of his own is very powerful. Unless we consciously fight against him, he dictates our lifestyle. Until we can understand how and why he exists and do something to change him, he will continue to be the cause of so much grief in our world.

So who is Norm? He is the standard of living that influenced our personal development. He is what we are used to, and what we endeavor to maintain or improve upon.Β  We will, in general, defend our standard (our Norm) quite vigorously. We will vote for the politician that clearly understands our desire to maintain our love affair with our Norm!

But perhaps we should question dear Norm, especially as politicians use him unscrupulously. Perhaps we should consider not only our Norm, but compare him with other peoples Norms?

I am fighting Norm on many fronts, but I have a long way to go! For example, I have been successful in that my Norm says that I should buy a large house, just to stay in tune with local trends. Why would I want additional square footage and all the additional upkeep that goes with it? Norm has to be satisfied with my small cottage home. Norm is really pushing me to borrow a huge amount of money, using my home as collateral, and “fulfill my dreams”! In the same context, Norm’s idea of fulfilling dreams seems to be limited to total self indulgence. He really does not know me very well. I have borrowed a lot of money over the years (some regrettably), but I am now in a debt-free situation. Dream on Norm! Also, I am financially committed to a number of local charities and, if I had a lot of money, I would be considering their organizations first.

The thing with Norm is that if we all acknowledged him for who he is, then we can make some changes. We (most of us) live in a quite extravagant life style when compared to the rest of the world. We are a rather wasteful society, and we are typically a very self indulgent society. As I mentioned in an earlier Post, our TV ads for the big lottery wins always show a couple sailing their new yacht around the world, or trying out their new ATV’s or exotic sports cars, or vacationing in faraway places. I have never seen a single ad that suggests giving it towards a new hospital wing, or into medical research, or to an animal welfare organization! In fact, with some of the prize values, one could do all three of those things and still self indulge just a little.

So what is my point? It is that the standard of living around the world is as far from consistent as one could imagine. While we are complaining about the price and quality of our latest food purchase, there are people who are scavenging for anything that remotely resembles food. While we are planning on having the driveway refinished, or contemplating trading in the car for a new one, there are people who do not have a stable home… and cannot see any chance of ever owning a car of any age!

Perhaps we should think about our Norm in this context. If our Norm was the same as everybody else’s Norm; If we all had a roof over our heads; If we all had a healthcare system; If we all had a minimum wage, and if we were all able to eat 3 meals a day,Β  can you possibly imagine how the culture of greed and envy, and all the associated negative connotations would be reduced?

Dreaming? Of course, but all it really takes is for each of us toΒ  acknowledge that we do have a standard of living which is dictating our lifestyle. If we were prepared to make a small sacrifice in that area, we could make our personal statement of assisting less fortunate people to improve their standard of living.

Who is Norm? He is a problem which must be, and should be resolved. We may never reach a world-wide standard of living, but we can certainly get a lot closer than we are at this time.

Food for thought.

14 thoughts on “Who is Norm?

  1. The first thing I thought of when reading this post was the TV show HGTV small houses. More and more people are wanting to go through this world debt free and not be as materialistic as the “Jones”.
    Families are living in 200 sq ft. houses, and doing just fine. They are learning that life is more about doing things together than what they have. Perhaps with their extra money they will donate to worthy causes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maria – On an individual basis, that’s the whole point isn’t? If we can trim our financial outgoings without reducing our income, we can be in a position to offer financial assistance to any cause that we are sensitive towards. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bout you do have to do your homework and make sure the money is going to the cause and not to a large administration percentage, or better yet, make sure you donate to where it is 100% volunteer.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s interesting because I was “there” a few years ago re hospitals spending huge amounts of money on advertising. My dilemma was “Do I support a charity that has a minimal advertising budget and therefore offer 90% of my donation going to the cause…. but their fundraising result is small, or do I support a charity with a large advertising budget and offer 60% of my donation going to the cause…. and they raise millions! It is an interesting dilemma which I could only resolve by asking myself what was important to me. The fact the most of my money reaches the cause, or the fact that I am helping a major fundraising campaign which will ultimately benefit the cause in a huge way?


  2. I don’t anyone who want to break up with Norm. As for me the past 30 years I have been trying to win the lottery to put a cat wing on the local shelter. It would be named after the wonderful cat I had 30 years ago when I got the dream.

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    • It is in our nature to want to preserve or improve on our Norm. The issue is …. how do we feel about living our current lifestyle when, if we all lowered our expectations a little, a country with a very low standard of living could be helped? Putting that another way… are we interested in making a sacrifice to our own lifestyle if the result means a better standard of living for others less fortunate?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Chris. I have no doubt that it must start with us by making our feelings known. That must be followed by gestures on our part which assist those less fortunate. If enough “noise” is made in the context of getting closer to a universal equality, then perhaps a political figure will rise who can make more definitive gestures! From my perspective, politicians are generally totally reactive i.e. they will do whatever is necessary to acquire support. Only when they believe that society has a social conscience and really wants to “close the gap” in the standard of living around the world, will they start waving the flag! As one voice, I can do very little… but a few million voices is a powerful tool.


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