What Is Individualism? Is It Good Or Bad?

1473 words - 6 pages

Individualism, Good or bad?
America is filled with two types of people, people who tell you to be yourself and do whatever you want in life, and then there are also those people who try and tell you what you should be and what you should do in life. Individualism and collectivism are conflicting views of the nature of humans. By comparing the pros and cons of individualism, we will have a clear view of the American citizen.
There are many advantages and difficulties of individualism. Individualism states that the individual is the main unit of reality and the ultimate way of life. According to redbarn.org “The view of individualism does not deny that societies exist or that people benefit from living in them, but it seems society as a collection of individuals, not something over and above them” (What is Individualism). Collectivism states that the group, the nation, the community, the culture, the race etc is the main unit of reality and the ultimate way of life. According to redbarn.org “This view does not deny the reality of the individual. But ultimately, collectivism holds that one’s identity is determined by the groups one interacts with, that one’s identity is constituted essentially of relationships with others” (What is Individualism).
Some societies in the world defend and are for individualism immensely as a part of their culture and even their forms of government. Other societies/cultures do not focus too much on it (Susana Echevrria). Even though most people believe that individualism is important, and it is very important to be self-reliant. Although we take this opinion too far and we can easily fall in the trap of believing that we are alone and that we have to fend for ourselves and make it our own. But in reality we are not supposed to “make it” alone and we are not supposed to be totally independent from one another, but we need to feel free to express our needs and to step in for others when they need us. We are so much more connected to other people and dependent to others than we know. So if you live with the belief that we are totally individualistic and self-reliant is nothing but an illusion (Susana Echeverria).
Individualism encourages being free. Individualistic people are less worried about criticizing institutions and behaviors and are more likely and eager to work toward helping and making things, rules, institutions etc. better. Individualism also promotes introspection and discovering who you are and what you want to that you can improve your life. This discovery and realization helps you determine areas of weakness and grow your strength (Dianne Health). But individualism can also put the idea in your mind that you can only help/rely on yourself and you have to do everything in life alone. And that is not how life is. We work and depend on people everyday but the more we think of being individualistic we feel that we can only do things on our own. This causes us to get us stressed and distraught which...

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