Individuality: A Real Power

Patrick - Morganton, North Carolina
Entered on February 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Individuality: A Real Power

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were forced to hide your true self? A situation where someone suggests or says something and you feel against it; but unfortunately, you find the majority believes what you oppose. So from fear of being an outcast, you decide to “go with the flow,” instead of taking a risk and staying true to yourself. I and many others have experienced this exact scenario. Multiple times I can remember thinking, “No, I do not agree,” and feeling the inability to express that thought. The most recent and vivid memory of a situation similar to this had an impact on me.

I remember that I was at school and one of my favorite teachers was talking to me and several other students. Our teacher was unique in that she had many varied beliefs about life, politics, etc. In this particular conversation she was discussing why she was agnostic. Immediately, some of those listening became upset and actually verbally lashed out. I remember having one of the most awkward feelings. It was as though I wanted to say something in her defense, but fear stopped me. Even though I had a different opinion than my teacher, I still respected her greatly. Something positive did come from this experience, though. Witnessing that particular individual voice her beliefs and stand up for herself had a profound effect on me. It showed me that it is possible to be an individual.

Individuality does not have a universal definition because it has various meanings to many different people. In truth, individuality means our differences. To me individuality means a collection of our beliefs, our likes, our dislikes, what really matters to us, and so much more. It encompasses nearly every aspect of our lives and affects us everyday. I believe that everyone should strive to be who he/she truly is. Unfortunately, in a world of conformity, I find it increasingly difficult to be an individual.

Everyday I struggle against people telling me who I am, what I should do, and what I should think. In retrospect, I have never stopped to ask why. Why have I never stopped to question conventional ideas? Why do I believe and enforce negative stereotypes, instead of thinking for myself? I also ask myself why I never truly think outside the box or even attempt to break the mold. I believe that as individuals and as a whole, overcoming these stagnant ways of thinking is crucial.

Individuality brings numerous positives to the world. With individuality comes change and diversity. Concepts like change and diversity are vital for growth as an individual and growth as a society. Individuality supports and promotes new ideas and views. It teaches us about different cultures and heritages.

By living as an individual you are saying, “This is who I am.” It means always having the ability to hold true to what you believe in, even in the face of opposition. I believe it takes strength and sometimes loss, but the pros far outweigh the cons. It means having the capability to live a life with no regrets and always standing up for yourself and your beliefs. To me there could be nothing better or more important. Always be an individual, this I believe.