Sparked by my upcoming do that I have lined up with Speakers.ca, whenever I hear someone say to a group of friends, “Oh my goodness! I knew exactly what was going to happen, and then I realized what was happening,” my eyes start to get a little sweaty. As the story continues, a friend has recently invited a stranger over for dinner. Before the dinner has even been served, it’s clear that all three of them are talking about each other’s shoes and outfit. Every time I hear such a story, I immediately become extremely uncomfortable.
I cannot wrap my mind around how someone’s sense of individuality can be so strongly influenced by someone else’s individuality. Click here if you express your individuality with uniquely crafted cowboy hats and other apparel…
Of course, you want your friends to be individuals. That is an essential part of community. But when it comes to being in community, how are you going to express your individuality? Are you going to become so aggressive and competitive that you can never find others who understand you? Are you going to become so uncertain of your identity that you lose your sense of community?
Many people are so uncertain about their individuality, so unsure of who they are, and so confused about how to express that identity that they start to lose their sense of community. This is one of the main reasons why many people become very angry when they see someone like themselves being attacked.
Here is my point: People who are not yet aware of their individuality are going to become increasingly afraid when they see other people expressing their individuality.
I say this because it’s very easy for someone to become aware of their individuality, to understand what makes them different, and to express that uniqueness. But to become aware of your individuality requires that you become confident and in control of your identity.
However, once someone becomes confident and in control of their identity, once someone understands the values that are important to them, and they live their values, they become confident and in control of what they believe and of what they express. It becomes easier to live your values when you live them with others, and it becomes easy to show the value of your individuality because you live your values with others. If you live your values with others, then you can express your individuality without losing your sense of community.
So where is this conversation going?
I think that it’s very easy for people to lose their sense of community when they become very conscious of what’s happening in their minds. It’s easy for someone to become aware of their individuality, beyond their appearance which may be asserted with something like some of the best customized leather bracelets. However, it is extremely difficult to actually express and live that individuality. The difficulty is that if you are aware of what you believe, and you are in control of what you believe, and you are in control of what you express, then it becomes difficult to forget that this is your idea. If you are in control of what you believe, it becomes easy to forget that it’s not really your idea. You forget that other people have their own ideas and their own values, and that you are each unique.