Normal = Abnormal • Abnormal = Normal (sense 2)

25 Apr

I have written articles about the fact that, in our society today, normal has become abnormal and vice-versa, here and here.
This present write-up shares the same title. It only means it in a slightly different sense. Enjoy please.

Anytime from 7pm everyday, my neighbourhood comes alive with vibes from generators of all kinds and sizes.

I live in a flat that is part of a two-story block of six flats. Every flat has it’s own generator. You can imagine the blend of sweet sounds you get when all generators from the six flats are on.
Behind my house is a big church. Even though I’ve never actually set eyes on their generator, I can tell it’s a big generator that runs on diesel. It know it’s sound.

Of course over time, you get accustomed to the noise and it becomes normal. Quiet becomes abnormal. The day before yesterday, I was with a couple. We were sharing about the situation of things in the country when he shared a joke:

A Nigerian travelled to a country where power supply was constant. Every night, he found it difficult to sleep. The doctors checked him, took his history, ran tests and found that he simply could not sleep because his new environment was too quiet. His “treatment” simply was a soft music noise CD that played him recorded noise from generators anytime he wanted to go to bed. From the very next day, the “patient” found his sleep.

Bizarre as it sounds, the above was probably a true life story. It could have happened.
I have had similar experiences:

I had been so used to poor internet services that I was literally irritated when I had a fast connection. I mean, fast wasn’t just right.

I had been so used to a poor power supply that when I moved to an area of town where the power wouldn’t go out for days, I could begin to feel sick.

For the fact that we’ve experienced bad national leadership as a nation for decades, we’ve come to take it (bad leadership) as normal. I’ve heard citizens say they are OK with public officials embezzling funds as long as they “just do something” to help the masses “no matter how small.” Pray, are those not the kind of ideas that emanate from a sick mindset?

Nigerians have become so used to abnormality. We have come to terms with poverty, unstable power supply, bad roads, bad leadership, corruption, lack of security etc.. We just laugh through it all. Despite all the ills, we still found a way to be ranked the happiest people in the world.

I imagine that when the situation improves and things finally become fixed (if they do get fixed), we wouldn’t initially enjoy them because they wouldn’t be things we’re anymore familiar with. It would take some getting used to.


Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Normal = Abnormal • Abnormal = Normal (sense 2)

  1. Dr Festus Aisabokhale

    May 1, 2012 at 12:33 am

    You are right when you say this kind of behaviour emanates from a sick mind set. Who wouln’t fall sick under such very abnormally harsh conditions? Conditioning is what the behavioural scientist calls it & it is therefore very normal response that Nigerians are exhibiting else they will all die before their time.

  2. olatunde olawolu

    May 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I share your sentiments. But abnormal situations remain absurd moreso when you find yourself in a sane society where social amenities work out optimally. The populace is enlightened; the air pollution is minimal; energy management is well distributed; etc

    When you live in Nigeria where shouts of exclamation is the response when PHCN decides to beam light to the vicinity, you know something is missing somewhere. The other day I was driving in the village. Then I saw a public tap gushing out crystal ciear water. I began to wonder, am I in Nigeria. It is abnormal to see water in public taps! Normal conveniences such as portable water, electricity, good road networks, education, etc are so rare in the country that when you notice something in the neighbourhood of normalty, one thinks it is abnormal!

  3. Eit Neves

    May 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    LOL, I couldnt agree more.


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