# definition of average

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• #588002
abcd1234
Participant

I would like to know if someone can tell me what the term average/normal means

Who determines what it means?

How does someone become “average/normal”?

if all of us are created with a Tzelem Elokim how can someone just be “average”?

Is it actually possible for someone to be totally completely average and not excel at one thing?

#623318
illini07
Member

I think that average can be a relative term – if one is described in average, it could be average in comparison to all others considering that we are made b’tzelem Elokim. I’ve found that everyone has at least one thing that they excel in, whether they realize it or not. Often times, the ones who are modest or overly self-critical and don’t think they excel at anything are the ones who truly excel at the most.

#623319
burich
Participant

This is emblematic of the laziness of today’s youth. And if you’re not young, it’s still a great example. Why do you need someone to tell you what it means? Look it up!

Here, I did the hard work for you.

Average:

Wikipedia: An average, or central tendency [1] of a data set refers to a measure of the “middle” or “expected” value of the data set.

Merriam-Webster: A single value (as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values.

I’ll leave “normal” as an exercise for the reader.

#623320
WolfishMusings
Participant

Average is just what is sounds like — take the sum of the observations and divide them by the number of observations. If you want to know what the average age of the people in your shul is, simply add up the ages of everyone and divide by the number of people.

That being said, average does not equal normal. Averages can be greatly skewed. The story is told of the elementary school that tried to attract parents by stating (truthfully) that the graduates of that school averaged a million dollars a year in income. Of course, what wasn’t pointed out was that two of the graduates were the founders of Microsoft, who skewed the average to the right.

To find out if something is “normal,” you have to take into account the average *and* the standard deviation. This gives you a better picture of what is normal.

As for your question regarding how someone could be “average” if we are created B’tselem Elokim, then by definition, about half of us have to be below average. Or, to give you similar example, if you had a list of all the millionaires in the world, by definition about half of them will be below the average of that list. So too with people. If everyone is a Tselem Elokim, then, by definition, about half of them will fall below the average.

The Wolf

#623321
BYgirl
Member

Okay, this is the way it goes. Although judging someone is unfair, the way that one perceives another is through who he actually is. Everybody thinks that they are mainstream, that they are normal. Therefore, if someone is not like them, they are not normal. Think in you mind of people who you think are strange. In which way are they different than you and in which way are they the same. I can guarantee you that they are are different than you in many more ways. I hope I clarified a couple of points.

#623322
rik
Member

Rabbi Keleman of Neve Yerushalayim has said about the definition of normal: Hashem, being perfect, is the epitome of normal. The closer one is to Hashem and follows in His ways the more “normal” he is. However, as he deviates from Hashem he is taken further away from the title of “normal”.

Is it actually possible for someone to be totally completely average and not excel at one thing?

Everyone can excel at something. If someone is lacking talents they can make it up by excelling in sensitivity, patience or even talking. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and I have yet to meet an average person.

#623323
squeak
Participant

“Average”, as applied to human beings and their abilities, generally means a range. One is average if he/she is not too far from the middle in either direction. Average in this case does not mean EXACTLY in the middle.

And so, I have met many average people in my life. It is not true the statement that “everyone is special in something”. Most people are average. That is a good thing. Some people are above average. That is unusual. Some people are below average. This is also unusual.

Maybe every person has their “hour”, but I oppose the PC adage that everyone has one thing that they are the “best” at.

#623324
oomis
Participant

Our Tzelem Elokim is our Neshoma. Ha-Shem has no corporeal form, so our concept of average, whioh is referring to a corporeal aspect, is not applicable. Ha-Shem gives each of us specific talents, abilities, challenges, and a tafkid or purpose in life. Perhaps it is the purpose of one person to be a healer, another to be a gadol hador, another to create beautiful music or art, another to teach, etc. Perhaps it is the tafkid of one to be average or less than average, in order to teach us certain middos of hwo to relate to each other in spite of our differences. If we were all brilliant and talented, there would be no concept of average, or rather THAT would become the average.

#623325
abcd1234
Participant

sorry about that, apparently i havent made myself too clear. i meant today what is average/normal? for example girls graduating from high school-going to Israel for seminary than coming back and marrying a boy from lakewood would that be considered normal/average? and why would someone be “not-average”?

#623326
squeak
Participant

abcd – the word for what you are describing is not normal/average. You mean to say that it is “going with the flow”, or the trend. Yes, the trend for BY girls is to go to seminary in EY, spend afternoons shopping in downtown Jerusalem, eat out every night, come home and tell your family what areas of frumkeit they need to improve in, marry a guy from Lakewood after 2-3 dates and 2 months engaged, settle in Lakewood and work as a teacher or stay home and babysit while the husband learns in BMG. It is definitely the trend. Does that make it normal? That depends on your point of view. Some will say it is normal, some will say it is not. Some would like to believe it is normal and will hope that by saying so it will become so. But it is the trend, no matter your opinion.

Does that answer your question, or were you trying to get people’s opinions on whether what is trendy is also normal?

#623327

Did this question have a purpose or were you just bored at work and wanted to type unintelligent questions. More likely the latter but then it would seem you are below average in keeping halacha since you should be working. in which case you have a motive, you dont like being below average so you want to redefine avergae, in that case you had a reason… confusing no?

#623328
lammed hey
Member

Jews are not normal, we are excellent !

Shomrei Torah are not normal, we are superb !

People who learn Torah and follow it for the sake of Hashem are the best!

C”V we do things because they are “trendy”. We do things because Hashem told us to do them ðŸ™‚

#623329
oomis
Participant

You are asking if something is the norm, not if it is normal. Something may b e the current norm, meaning that most people do it, but it does not make that thing that they are doing normal, necessarily (nor does it make it not normal. For example, it may be the norm for girls to starve themselves in order to fit into a size zero, for fear of not getting a shidduch. Is the behavior normal? Not at all. It is prevalent, thus making it a norm of sorts, but it is not normal for someone already thin to keep dieting, thinking she has to lose more weight. Just my opinion.

#623330
LeiderLeider…
Participant

Squeak. Love your latest post! I appreciate your sense of humor. And yes, I agree with your message.

We make normal what we want normal to be.

#623331
Pashuteh Yid
Member

Average means to get on YW and fight with everybody else there.

Normal also means to get on YW and fight with everybody else there.

#623332

The only normal people in the world are the ones you dont know very well.

Anyone you think is normal is really not… once you get under the surface, spend some time at their house, meet their family…

Normality means nothing!!!People try to be “normal” but they can never be there! Anyone you know-once you meet them, get to know their quirks or pet peeves–they are just like everyone else… maybe that is “normal”- to have your quirks, odd moments, “interesting” situation at home/parnasah/school/work ect and still try to be like everyone else!!!

#623333
i2i
Member

Abcd,

Firstly, the term average/normal is relative. Every person has thier own definition of what they consider is normal. Every part of Judiasm, and every Jewish community has thier own idea of what normal is. What might be considered normal in one place, can be really wacky/strange in another.

Secondly, people should not be labeled as average, unless it is in reference to something for ex. someone can have average intelligence, someone can be an average baseball player. Average means not too high and not too low, not to good or not too bad. But to say a person is average is a lie because EVERYONE has some strengths and skills that they are “high” in and some that they are “low” in. Saying someone is average means that they are in the middle ground for every single area of life, which is usually untrue.

Thirdly, there are some “checklist” attributes and things that Orthodox Jews tend to consider normal such as Mentally/Physically Healthy, Completed Schooling, Stable Home etc. Unfortunaely, any deviation from these norms make you abnormal in the yeshiva world. The truth is, we should not strive to be “normal” because we are all created differently. To try to conform to the “norms” means giving up our unique identity in a sense.

I do not think that it is possible for someone to be just ok in every area – mb you jsut arent looking hard enough, but there are other catagories that you probably arent looking at. Just because you dont sing, dance, draw, book, write, or act well doesnt mean you cant be an exceptional, loyal friend. There are so many different strengths one can have ranging from superficial to deeper.

#623334

A teacher once handed out a paper. We were told to write what we thought was the answer to the following questions. Do not ask your friend or look at their papers. Say your first instinct.

1. What is the normal amount of sleep to get in a night?

2. Owning how many pairs of shoes is normal?

3. What is a normal amount to spend on a shabbos outfit?

4. On a weekday skirt?

5. On a pair of weekday shoes?

6. What is a normal activity to do after school?

7. What is an average amount of time to spend on homework?

And the list went on for the rest of the page. She called on girls to answer the same question. We saw how everyone’s perception of normal was different. One girl said that 6 hours of sleep was normal, another 10. 3 pairs of shoes or 6. We learned a valuable lesson about other people and perspectives.

A girl in the class said:

a) The only normal people in the world are the ones you dont know very well!

b) Normality is a state of mind, not a state of being.

#623335
chalish
Member

Average and Normal is what everyone thinks they are.

#623336
GILA
Member

havesomeseichel is so right everyone else seems so normal and perfect until you meet them and get to know them very well everyone has their own meaning of normal to me normal cud b something and to it could be absurd its relative

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