In order to become a police officer one must submit to psychological testing. This testing is done in order to determine where the applicant’s mind exists in relation to society and in relation to how society wants their police service to perform.
If you are sent for the testing the service is serious about your application. Once completed there is a report sent back to the service, never offered nor provided to the one tested. I signed a waiver allowing the police service access to that medical information yet it is odd to me that I was never provided a copy of the results. This could have been the first sign in a how the organization works. If you don’t ask for the information is isn’t offered. I never asked for my own medical information, it was never offered….odd way to work and has a passive aggressive power differential.
Test completed and results submitted to the first service brought about the next stage. I was asked to answer to any characteristics that measured on the high end of average. I was informed I was allowed five in total and that I was within the range. I was then asked to explain my understanding of one of my characteristics before I was allowed to be presented for the final interview. I was never told the other “five”. I suppose my answer to the characteristic (stubborn) was satisfactory and off to the final interview.
That final interview is a story unto itself, one to be shared at another point. It even includes the human equivalent of Jabba The Hut from the first Star Wars Movie Series! I was successful in that final interview, and hired.
FOUR YEARS LATER
I applied to another police service and was required complete a different psychological assessment. The first comment from the assessor told me that I tested exactly on the statistical average. The tester could not believe the result, for it was statistically impossible. The tester had a few more questions designed to insure the testing was accurate. Those questions alone were interesting but in the end I passed and was hired by a second, different police service.
The mathematical part in me wondered about the testing and how I could move from having parts that were to be questioned to fulfilling the statistical definition of normal (for police). Either the first piece of information disclosed, that I had a few parts that were on the high end, was incorrect or I had changed. If I had changed the only cause could be the four years on the job. Had I become the definition of what society wanted police to be? Was I the statistical improbability of “normal” for a police officer!
TWO DECADES LATER…almost
I look up the definition of normal in the Oxford Dictionary….and I write you.
So when our world uses words like “normal” it is important to understand some of the presumptions about such a word. Presumptions that physical or mental “disorders” are “not normal” and presumptions that “normal” is a form of “conforming to the standard; usual, typical, or expected”. With that in mind how could “normal” be something expected or even something to aspire?
If normal is something to which I, you, others aspire or measure the world then we are vulnerable to mass marketing and influences of anyone or anything that is able to be the loudest, strongest voice determining what “normal” is.
Meanwhile the ones that mark and hold in history don’t seem to fit into “normal”.
Today, look a homeless person in the eye and say hello. Today feel the feeling you don’t like…the one that is “not normal” in your body and say hello. Both actions are a way to acknowledge existence. Neither the homeless nor the feelings are going away, time to accept their existence.
Signing off for today my friends. Look at the photo and think about the expression, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. See the black and white squares that represent judgement and right and wrong. See the photo and shift from the judgement of “normal” to the freedom of acceptance. Your day will be different.
This post is dedicated to all those that need and want to get rid of the horrors in their minds. Your/my world is very hard and the judgement of what is normal injures deeply. I say you are wonderfully “not normal” and your mind is very clever. It is clever enough to be relentless and work hard to protect you from what you have lived. Play safe my friends and allow your mind a rest…when you can… When you play safe, you practice being safe and your mind can rest.