The necessity to live in society and follow the social rules and norms is an integral part of life that cannot be neglected by people. In the last two essays, the situations when a community may influence a person in different ways were discussed. On the one hand, fear of being ashamed the same way an obese girl in the class was can make people keep silent and not be distinguished among other representatives of society. On the other hand, a desire to overcome social isolation and learn more than one hundred words (Rodriguez 12) can stimulate a person to study hard and achieve good results at the expense of family relations. However, these are two extremes that make people choose without considering personal interests and needs. People need another option. Strong individualism may be considered as a solution that can help people to underline some personal characteristics and stay loyal to the norms established in society.
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Strong individualism may be observed in the cultures developed by such countries as the United States, Great Britain, or Canada (Maraffi et al. 214; Theiss-Morse 112). These cultures show that it is not enough to be different. It is more important to prove that the chosen beliefs and attitudes make sense and have to be respected by others. Basu-Zharku writes that individuals should “gain a sense of who they are by relating to others within a culture and creating a shared past” (par. 2). Strong individualism is an attempt to encourage people to understand their true potential and investigate their skills and dreams. As soon as people clarify what they actually can or want to achieve, they can be rather useful to society. The period of this kind of self-search may last a long time. People can make mistakes, come with wrong or unclear solutions, and change their opinions several times. However, the results that can be achieved with time may be beneficial for both, a person and society. The only requirement that should be met is the time that is necessary for the analysis of personal worth, the development of skills, and the introduction of the results to society.
In the situation that took place in the school with the obese girl, several options could be possible. For example, the girl could prove her rights and resist the pressure of her peers by understanding her beauty and knowledge. She could use more interesting and worthy methods of revenge. She could use her strong individualism as a means to explain that some personal weaknesses or defects should not become the reasons for humiliation but serve as powerful aspects of a personality. Unfortunately, not all children are provided enough information about personal dignity, self-respect, and strong individualism at schools. People need more time to comprehend how they can use their knowledge and abilities and more teachers, who can explain why individualism is worth consideration and development in different countries regarding their cultures, traditions, and social expectations.
Strong individualism may be good for society in case society realizes its importance. People should comprehend their worth and learn to use it at an early age. Children are usually weak when the time to identify their individualist features comes. Therefore, they may need some explanations, support, and understanding. As a rule, parents, teachers, and advisors aim at explaining the benefits of strong individualism to children so that they can use it properly. This kind of individualism may be rather beneficial to society. As soon as several people try to demonstrate their self-reliance, independence, and personal achievements (Basu-Zharku par.7), they may create the society with the same characteristics.
In its turn, a strong individualistic society is a group of people with unique and well-grounded ideas and perspectives that can be used for development and improvement. Some people believe that individualism may close several doors because of the inabilities to find consensus and follow the norms that have been established based on experience and knowledge. Still, if no such attempts are made to promote changes, progress can be hardly observed. People cannot deprive themselves of progress and the improvements that can make their lives better. Strong individualism is hope that should live inside of every person to make this world better, and society should not prevent its development.
In general, strong individualism is good for society in case society is aware of the benefits that can be achieved with strong individuals. People should be able to reflect on what they can, what they want, and what they have to do individually and in groups when they realize their potential and believe that they can improve the world and the conditions under which people have to live. Though to be a strong individual is not an easy task, people should try to achieve the goals they set and develop their skills to the necessary level and help society to become better using the potential of others.
Basu-Zharku, Iulia. “Effects of Collectivistic and Individualistic Cultures on Imagination Inflation in Eastern and Western Cultures.” Student Pulse Academic Journal 3.2. (2011): n. pag. Student Pulse. Web.
Maraffi, Marco, Kenneth Newton, Paul F. Whiteley and Jan. W. van Deth. Social Capital and European Democracy, New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.
Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2004. Print.
Theiss-Morse, Elizabeth. Who Counts as an American?: The Boundaries of National Identity, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.