As I look upon the rolling hills of the area of my hometown I am struck with a level of natural beauty that I believe I have failed to notice in past times. Why? It’s normal. You see, so often we think that things are better somewhere else. That there are groups of people in other parts of the world or country who just have it all made. This is not true. If you go somewhere else, do you know what you find? People. People who are living life. Their “normal” might look completely different from your “normal,” but the fact doesn’t change that they are just living. There are good things and bad things in each culture, and in each place you see and experience. It is only natural that we will see every new thing and experience every new thing through the filter of what we perceive as “normal.” The danger comes into play when we set our “normal” as the standard for the world, and rank things as good or bad in relation to what we are used to. The reality is that amongst each new group we meet, we can find some truly beautiful things, as well as some truly ugly things. However if we believe that our “normal” is the “right normal” then we will have a hard time seeing the beauties in many of the different cultures and locations. We may go somewhere very poor and see people living on dirt floors, with dirty faces and we might want to try everything we can to help point them in a direction that would lead them in the direction of our “normal.” If we only stop for a moment and look past the dirt, we see teeth, behind the widest smiles ever, wider than you ever thought possible. Eyes that are filled with so much happiness and love, more than you ever thought possible. Perhaps their lives aren’t so “wrong.” Maybe, just maybe, even though they aren’t living our “normal,” their “normal” is actually just as good. Maybe, just maybe, the way we believe is best to help them isn’t actually what they need at all. It may be completely different, but it is just as good. Perhaps instead of trying to help other people conform to our “normal,” we could expand our views and see the beauties in the world. To see the beauty that you are surrounded by every day in your “normal” hometown, and to see the beauty wherever you go. Because no matter what, people are beautiful, Jesus died for them. This world is full of beautiful things. Never be afraid to expand what you believe to be “normal.” Meet people, explore, have adventures, live an abnormal life. Get it.