Power of Individuality:
The question, ‘What exactly does it mean to be an individual?’ is more important now than ever before. We have to explore this question precisely because we have smothered the individual spirit under innumerable collective ideologies. The answer to this question holds the future hope of humanity. If we get this wrong, we can consider ourselves doomed.
I heard a story once that beautifully illustrates how important each individual is to existence. Here is that story:
“I read the first chapter of ‘A Brief History of Time’ when Dad was still alive, and I got heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how, compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn’t even matter if I existed at all.
When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem. “What problem?” “The problem of how relatively insignificant we are.”
He said, “Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimeter?” I said, “I’d probably die of dehydration.”
He said, “I just mean right then when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?” I said, “I don’t know, what?” He said. “Think about it.” I thought about it. “I guess I would have moved a grain of sand.” “Which would mean?” “Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?” “Which would mean you changed the Sahara.”
“So?” “So?” So the Sahara is a vast desert. And it has existed for millions of years. And you changed it!” “That’s true!” I said, sitting up. “I changed the Sahara!”
“Which means?” he said. “What? Tell me.” “Well, I’m not talking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I’m just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimeter.”
“Yeah?” “If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way …” “Uh-huh?” “But, you did do it, so …?”I stood on the bed, pointed my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: “I changed the universe!” “You did.”
An individual is a tremendous force of nature. It is very easy to forget this force if we are too caught up in all the collective ideologies of life. Everybody has fixed ideas of what is possible and what is not. If you simply give in to this collective ideology of others, you will subconsciously accept those limitations for yourself.
Believing that the greatest force of existence is the individual is extremely important. When you believe that, you, your mind and application of your thoughts and ideas are more important than ideas floating around you, you will exercise the choice to be an individual. You will discover a unique force of existence within you which is capable of great things.