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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Individuality and Independence

As I look around, I find it fascinating to watch and listen to people as they claim to be expressing their “individuality and independence” while they join in with a group who is heralding a message they resonate with.

It is fascinating because, the idea of the individualism is non-existent in the group context. Yet, many seem to feel their individuality is best represented by the group.

How is this possible?

Perhaps it is the old adage, “there is safety and strength in numbers” or just maybe because many are unsure of their position regarding the causes they are drawn to, so they feel safer expressing their views as a part of a group.

If this is the case, it is truly a shame.

To be willing to give up our “individuality and independence” to be a part of a group is akin to “going along to get along”. Which really means we lack substance as we are unable or unwilling to take a stand when a stand is what must be taken.

We are at a cultural crossroad today where the mantra is, “you are either with us or you are against us”. This statement itself leaves no room for reasonable thought or consideration and without these, we will not only lose our identity, but we will be hopelessly lost.

The world has always been led by the emotional ebbs and flows caused by the latest need for a cause or purpose someone feels is the most important at the time.

The question we each need to ask is, what if I don’t see someone else’s cause or purpose as the most important? What if I feel just as passionate about another issue? Am I willing to allow myself to think independently, or will I give in and kowtow to the whims of the latest group?

These questions will no doubt illicit a response that will be less than hospitable from some. Nevertheless, they must be asked.

You see, our “individuality and independence” are what makes us who we are and equally as important, they allow us to learn to listen and allow others to be who they are.

The breakdown of a society begins with group think, because the power will always be found in the individual.

This is true regarding issues of the world, of family and of faith. In fact, “individuality and independence” are what makes us who we are and that is what makes our world a better place and makes our lives worth living.

I believe each of us has been made by God on purpose for a purpose and that purpose is an individual one which requires thought, prayer, and consideration. Many times, this will result in differing views and perspectives which allow us to share ideas and find solutions resulting in a world filled with individuals who are looking for the best in themselves and those around them.

Is that you? Are you standing on the principles that guide your life, or are you just standing with the group because you are afraid to stand alone?

Proverbs 4:14-15 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.

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