As of the day I write this, the stock market has diven by two-thirds of its previous value. This convinces many people that this marks the end of America. Some think that it precedes Armageddon. I disagree. America will rebound because of its most integral principle. I believe that America will return because of this belief. I believe in the power and authority of the individual.
The question of individuality has all but been dismissed in an information age of polls and censuses, an environment in which individuals are disdained and drones rewarded. But it is, all things considered, the actions of people that make the difference. Alexander the Great conquered a gratuitous portion of the known world within ten years. Any person can accomplish any task with enough dedication and determination.
The famous people I read about in history textbooks and later research on the web are only one example of the individual’s power. Many nameless people in history have changed events. It’s the butterfly effect. For each king who galloped into battle, there were an untold number of servants who attended to stirrups for his horse, beat out the leather for his saddle, and aided him in that skirmish. And without any one of those people, history might be very different.
As to how this impacts America, it was one of the shaping forces to our country. While George Washington was undoubtedly not the titan described in legend, he was significant… an individual without whom, I think, our nation wouldn’t have formed from the unorganized and untrained farmers that originally populated these white-washed shores.
The presence of the individual remains an omnipresent factor throughout literature. Beowulf was one embodiment of the concept; King Arthur was another. Today, these two myths continue to resonate with modern audiences across this crowded sphere. Their universal appeal lies in their message: that individuals can make a difference, a theme that recurred multiple times in the television series Babylon 5.
And as cheesy as it seems, I believe in that message.
I believe that any individual can do amazing things.
I believe in the power of the individual. Whether you do or not is your choice as an individual.