Getting Ahead to Normal

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word normal as "conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical." What the dictionary doesn't do is identify what that standard is. And in the aftermath of Sept. 11, nobody else can, either. Certainly it's not whatever it used to be. So forget about getting "back to normal." Unless you have a time-travel machine, it isn't going to happen. Instead, we must get ahead to normal. What's going to emerge will be what's always been normal in the rest of the world: accepting that the possibility of terrorism—and just plain old violence—exists everywhere and every day, and nobody gets papal dispensation from living with that risk. Just ask any resident of Jerusalem. Or London. Or Belfast. Or Paris, Tokyo, Madrid, Oklahoma City, Columbine, or Rome. After all, even the Pope himself has had personal e

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