The Illusion Of Individualism In Our Society

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”

-Gloria Steinem

The subject that has been running through my mind these past weeks is how this society has not only normalized but encouraged individualism. As defined in the Cambridge Dictionary, individualism is the idea that freedom of thought and action for each person is the most important quality of a society, rather than a shared effort and responsibility.

So, why am I writing about this? Let me tell you that if there is one concept that could encompass all that I have learn this year is this false sense of individualism in our society. We think that what we do doesn’t affect the other person and that if you only focus on yourself, your growth and your goals, you’ll be successful. While that is true, so is seeking support, so is educating yourself and so is helping others by giving back what you have learned. We live in a very selfish society and while it is not our fault that this is the way things are, we do have the power to change this. Not only for your own desire to be your best version, but the desire to help people grow with you.

We keep acting as if we were the epicenter of the universe, as if we lived alone here and nothing we ever did could have an impact on the people that surround us. Again, not our fault. But frankly, I think this idea of the “American Dream” is so 50 years ago. This idea that you have to hustle and just keep going, not looking back and not pay attention to the reality we face everyday. The idea that “oh but all I do is work, go to the gym and I don’t get in anyone’s way” is great. But if you constantly ignore what is happening in the world that you live in because “there’s nothing I can do”, then honey bun let me tell you, you are a problem too.

I’m NOT saying that isn’t a good thing, on the contrary it’s a great quality if you hustle and don’t meddle in other people’s lives. What I’m trying to say is that, it is wrong if that is ALL that you do. You see, times have changed and people have awakened. We have been living a very unfair and unequal world for far too long and I am tired of seeing people living so disconnected from the truth. I’m not saying that you have to carry this pain on your shoulders because that’s unhealthy too. And let me tell you from experience that it is not at all pretty to feel the weight of the world, it’s uncomfortable and it hurts.

But, you know what also hurts? Seeing people look the other way when an unsheltered person is asking for food and you don’t engage because he’s just a bum. Looking the other way when a person is being discriminated. Looking the other way when you see a transgender person being abused or downgraded. We are not superheroes, I know that and I may have a little bit of a hero complex in me to also tell you that it is a problem. It just hurts that there is so much that is wrong with our society that if I continue to list things, I won’t get to finish.

Today, I have a proposal for you guys. I invite you to speak up whenever you feel that something is wrong and unjust. I invite you to sit down and recognize if even you are the one that is perpetuating this unjust acts by being neutral about a particular subject. I invite you to stay informed and educated and learn from your history. Trust me when I say it’s so eye opening to see that the things that are going on today, have been going on for as long as we and our past generations have lived.

We do not live in a bubble and we do not live alone, you can make an impact by just re-educating yourself. By unlearning past patterns and learning new ones, by being there for your loved ones. Not just working on your future. You can help make a change by just spreading love, being kind and speaking up. Trust your intuition and trust your heart, if you feel that something is wrong in a particular time or place, there probably is. We can’t keep tolerating and perpetuating the way that we have been living till now. It’s time to give back and create a support system in which we all grow together and fight this cruel world.