Brian: Please, please, please listen! I've got one or two things to say.The above is from the movie "Life of Brian" which if you havent seen you should, and thats an order so go watch it now! Now if you in fact do at my recommendation watch this movie are you acting on your own free will? or conforming to my opinion? are you then considered to be an individual? or a pawn in my plan for world domination? Oops hmm forget the world domination part :)
The Crowd: Tell us! Tell us both of them!
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for your selves! You're ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Man in crowd: I'm not...
The Crowd: Sch!
I watched the movie a while back and this week a lecturer of mine used the above lines from the movie to great effect to show that it takes true individuals to ask difficult and awe inspiring questons even if the questions seem simple at face value. So I began to wonder if there are any true individuals out there and whether I myself am an individual. So what is an individual? what makes an individual? are we individuals? Now im no philosopher or great thinker ( infact I do very little thinking) so I doubt I could answer those questions but I think I will just type and see how far I get with this idea that popped into my head this morning as I was enjoying breakfast.
Like the lines from the movie imply we all would love to think and do think that we are all individuals doing our own unique activities. WE ARE INDIVIDUALS ! but really are we? We still we fall into small micro societies within society so are we individuals or just members of tiny splinter groups. We are geeks, plastics, sports junkies, rich, poor, pesimistic, optimistic, self absorbed, selfless, bloggers (we RULE) etc. We are taught in this western climate of ours to be unique, be special and strive for individuality in this world apparently filled with a myriad of different paths. But are we really individual and special? Before the concept of "I" came about people in the old world never had this concept of the individual. Individuals were unheard of and often shunned by there communities. People did things for the benefit of there community and for the benefit of the whole not the benefit of themselves. As they grew so did the people and the society around them. We today have forgotten this, that there is more in this world than us, egoism.
Individualism is the doctrine or belief that all actions are determined by, or at least take place for, the benefit of the individual, not of society as a whole, And then we wonder why our society is so messed up. There is no harmony, no sense of togetherness because we all have competing goals which most often infringe on other people goals. Eat or be Eaten, Kill or be killed, ruined or be ruined. Look im not advocating communism or some extreme cult, all I am saying that in the world of individuals who is really unique? Be your own person but there must come a time when you do think about those around you and do something for the greater good not the greater gold. May today that is the hallmark of a true individual. Someone willing to give up his "individuality" to preserve something bigger than his/herself.
Following the masses and being typical is the usual path for most people. So some of us will say well im not typical or so and so is typical but imagine we all started rebelling against being "typical" and start being non conformist,who then is typical and who are the indivduals? a group of non conformists are just like a group of conformists hardly any individuals present. A criminal can be said to be practicing extreme individualism. He/She doesnt follow the norm, rebels against authority and only cares about themselves not the society which they pillage from. There actions are only to further their own agenda's so are criminals just misunderstood individuals? Should we celebrate their individuality?
The true reason for societies current anarchy is invidualism. We inherently require anarchy and discord to live so indivdualism is a waay to perpetuate this. There can be no peace without anarchy.
Am I an individual? I dont know but I would like to think that I strive to be like the man in the crowd who says "I'm Not" more often then being a sheep.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
Are you amongst the crowd or the man in the crowd?
A post destined to offend nearly two thirds of the civilized world. And severely annoy the other third
The Lone Writer