• Something to Think About: Is Normal Phenomenal?

a sleeping baby with an adult hand holding the infant hand
Dear friend,

It takes a full year for a baby’s cooing sounds to turn into words, and another one to two years for these words to join into a simple conversation. Adult speech entails coordination of seventy to one hundred muscles, with more neurons needed to speak than are needed for a hundred-meter sprint.

Speaking, eating without spilling, walking, running, reading, writing, potty training—these are all phenomenal achievements that we celebrate when we raise a child. But when the child grows up, we forget what a big deal it was to watch him or her take the first step.

Then, for some of us, arrives a day when we lose one or more of these faculties. It could be from stroke, another medical condition, trauma, or something else. We become a child again and try to relearn. It is then that we are reminded of the true value of what we had. If we don’t fully recover, we remember the good old days when we could speak, walk, eat, or laugh.

Let that not happen to you. Do not close your eyes to the ordinary that is miraculous. What seems ordinary is a product of a series of miracles. Normal is actually phenomenal.

If you don’t see it that way, it is because you aren’t aware of the complexity that makes the ordinary happen. The greatest miracle is your ability to think and speak the word miracle and be conscious while doing that. Wow!

May you celebrate the ordinary—finding the rare, the timeless, and the precious within the mundane.

Take care.


Dr. Sood 2

Read Is Normal Phenomenal? and previous blog posts.
Also, follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

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