The other day I got to thinking about what defines NORMAL in our world.
So I decided to look up the dictionary.
"Normal" means "standard, regular, usual, typical, conforming to a set of standards, free from mental or emotional disorder."
Depending on where we live in the world, normal is usually decided by the set of values and principles of the culture and community we live in which is further defined and determined by the laws and statutes of the state or country of our residence.
As a child growing up in Fiji, it was quite normal to say prayer in class before we began school. Even though we rattled it off parrot fashion there was a goodness about it all that I didn't quite understand but knew was there.
Today, though, some groups suggest that this practice offends, so prayer is being removed from schools.
I've spoken to many non-Christian kids who went to the same Christian school and asked them if they were ever offended in saying morning prayer. Most said ‘no' and some even said that it gave them a sense of comfort and peace. Quite the opposite to what today's lobbyists are lamenting.
In my time it was normal for a boy to fall in love with a girl and the right thing to do if he wanted to marry, was to ask her father for her hand in marriage. Will this practice still exist if homosexual marriage is legalised? And who's going to ask for who's hand? And if two lesbian women want to marry and bring up a family, who's going to be the ‘father' and who‘s going to be the ‘mother' in the marriage? Or will there be two ‘mothers'?
And what of two homosexual men - will the same apply to them so that the children will have two ‘fathers' and no mother?
No matter what kind of family unit we choose, every child has a deep emotional yearning for a ‘mother' because we were conceived and cradled in their womb. If we're honest, this is an inherent emotional desire in every human being because of the way we were created. To deny this truth is to lose sight of our humanity.
Are we moving towards a time when we'll become a genderless society in a new world order where mothers and fathers become obsolete and a thing of the past?
In the process of redefining values, principles and traditions, are we going overboard heading into uncharted waters? In the name of freedom and human rights are we creating a set of problems for future generations that will create catastrophic gender and fatuous family issues that we haven't even considered or thought about?
We all make choices about how we wish to live within the boundaries of common decency and dignity.
In a democracy, if the majority of us choose to give homosexuals the right to marry whom they desire then it will become law regardless of opposition.
We're at a time in our world where values, principles and ideologies are changing rapidly to cater for different kinds of groups and fringe minorities who were once considered ‘out there'.
In some countries, politics is big business driven by millions of dollars in ‘donations' that come from those who make their money "talk".
As part of the human rights movement many lobbyists representing a myriad of alternative lifestyle groups, are pushing their barrow to not only make their voices heard but, changing laws legalising marriage to their same sex lover.
The stakes are high as political parties poll the populace to solicit the kind of marketing intelligence that'll give them the best chance of winning government.
The traditional family unit (which nearly every homosexual person comes from) is being redefined and systematically remodelled. Why and for what purpose?
As absurd and abhorrent as this may sound, will paedophiles one day lobby to have their rights made law?
If we go by what's happening in our world, same sex marriages will one day become a very ‘normal' part of everyday life.
Have we really thought through the consequences of what we are considering to make "normal" because many in our community are choosing alternative lifestyles?
And if we truly value the rights of the homosexual community, how about the rights of the heterosexual community where homosexuals come from?
Mr Nyles Seru has come under intense attack for making some bold statements about homosexuality and his former life. Is it possible that what he's saying is true and needs to be analysed and studied instead of dismissing him as an emotionally unbalanced individual?
I would contend that Mr Seru is closer to the mark with his experiences than we may give him credit for because he has defied the odds and made the transition. He needs to be commended for his open and transparent story because it gives hope that there are ways of dealing with sexual identity issues rather than accepting there is no other way.
I know of homosexuals and have had deep and meaningful conversations with them about their lifestyle choice. Their early childhood experiences aside, their stories at times have been sad and deplorable because of the abuse and trauma they suffered. Not every homosexual person has this kind of story to tell, but a great many do. So do we shrug off their traumatic childhood experiences as a normal occurrence or do we try helping them through it? Yes, I'm aware that some boys tend to have effeminate behaviour patterns. So does this make them a girl if they do? And what about girls who have a tendency of being tomboyish? Does this make them a boy?
The traditional family unit has been under intense pressure because marriage relationships are breaking down at an alarming rate. Instead of looking for solutions to saving marriages and families we're looking for alternative choices to ‘plug the hole‘.
Can we blame the homosexual community for wanting their own ‘family' because God knows they want to belong? I can only deduce from the little I know of Mr Seru's experiences that the love and care he received enabled him to make the transition.
Maybe it's time the heterosexual community looked within for answers to our pressing problems because our relationship issues are giving rise to deep despair and discouragement which is spawning a whole new generation of gender and marriage choices.
It seems we're entering a moment in history that the sages of old have spoken about. They have warned us about the consequences of our actions yet we seem not to be listening or hearing because we seem to be looking to the world for answers when the answers have been staring us in the face all along.
Perhaps Mr Seru has embraced the answers, becoming a forerunner, embarking on a life-changing mission possible - "If one man can another man can!"
*Colin Deoki is a frequent Letter writer to The Fiji Times. The views are his and not of this newspaper.