The Importance of the Individual

Emily - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 13, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

One of the most bittersweet memories I have of my childhood is playing Legos with my dad. For the first five years of my life I was an only child, and spent a lot of time alone, using my imagination to find ways to entertain my young mind. However, to contrast my time spent alone, I absolutely loved to spend time with my dad. My dad always worked obscure hours and the time he had to play Legos with me was precious.

That particular memory of playing Legos with my dad becomes bittersweet because of the ending. We played and built a city for what seemed like hours, and then he had to leave for work, in the middle of the afternoon. My mom was still sleeping, as it was a Saturday and her job at the time was incredibly labor intensive, meaning she slept till two or three in the afternoon most Saturdays she didn’t have any engagements. The emotion that overcame me at that moment, that overwhelming feeling of loneliness made me want to cry. Eventually though, that feeling subsided within my life, after repeated occasions like this one, and I attribute that greatly to my dad.

The greatest part of time with my dad was that every moment we had together he was molding my character by stimulating my mind to think for itself. I realize this now because of hindsight and the pride I have of my present character. Instead of imposing his ideas on me, my dad always asked me what I thought and fueled the logic that went into making those decisions. I would ask my dad what he thought and he always avoided the question and turned it right back at me. Although it was frustrating, I appreciate it now that I know its effect on me.

The thought of the individual in today’s society is sometimes seen as cliché, and an ideal that seems unreachable. The idea that a human can sustain their own being without relying on another seems absurd. This is what I have become though; I find myself perfectly comfortable being alone now, without the constant stimulation of others. Of course I enjoy being around people but I don’t need to be to be happy. I have my own opinions and thoughts, and a maturity that I feel is also my own. My dad is the reason for this characteristic of mine, and the reason I believe what I believe.

I believe that the individual is terribly important to human life, and in my own life. I believe that being an individual is the reason I am where I am today and that this is beautiful. I believe that the individual is behind some of the greatest people in the earth’s history, and that to be great you must be an individual; a strong, confident, glorious individual. Think what you think, do what you do, just be your own individual, it makes living life so much more enjoyable.