If everybody does it, is it normal?

We live in a culture. Simplistic but true. And useful. We build our lives around being part of and fitting into our families, our social groups, work settings, communities, regions, on and on. The larger the group the more complex the culture.

Culture is important because we're social creatures. We're tribal. There are very few humans that could or would want to survive on their own. We need not only the different skills that others possess to get by in the world but we thrive on the social interaction of having close friends to share ideas, thoughts and feelings with. Sharing a meal with someone can be fun and is far more pleasant than eating by yourself.

Culture also places a lot of pressure on us. To perform, to conform, to adhere to the rules of the group. Sometimes this works great. We know what to expect from others and they know how to treat us in return. 

And yet...

There are a lot of times when the group is just plain wrong. Years ago it was accepted to bind women's feet. All kinds of corruption, government sanctioned bigotry and even murder still exist. That's an extreme example but how extreme does a practice have to be before we put our cultural foot down?

Thus enters the health, fitness and longevity world in a bunch of ways. Body image, what's a healthy diet, what is beautiful are all functions not of science or reason but culture. That's you and me. We control that.

In the hyper-connected age we're bombarded with "information" and deluged with images that have an impact on us. If we let them. It's up to each of us to step back and examine these ideas and decide rationally if what we see and hear is true. Normal doesn't count. Is it true, is it right, just and fair? 

Normal is made up. Think for yourself.