Emerson Individualism

Good Essays
I believe in individualism. I believe in the kind of individualism that encourages freedom of the mind at the cost of tradition and social cohesion. I am a highschool student and adolescent, so much of my time is spent perceiving peers, which allows me to maintain a unique character. It is the desire to emit a distinctive complexion and act freely that generates individualism. Through passionate beliefs and an unyielding mind, society conforms to our examples, as we ignore societal traditions and mold our own distinct temperaments despite external influences. Whenever I think of the word individualism, I think of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay called “Self-Reliance” in which he describes the significance of trusting oneself. Each person is born …show more content…
I can truly relate to Emerson’s concept of individualism so vividly today because I associate it with a specific moment in my life. During sixth grade in elementary school, on a frigid winter afternoon, we ate lunch in the cafeteria. A young Japanese boy sat at my table and other students began to tease him because of his unique appearance and distinct cultural traits. For example, he excelled in arithmetic, and other students mocked him out of spite. Two students particularly began taking his food and heaving it across the cafeteria. Instead of allowing society to influence my behavior, I sternly told the students to leave the boy alone. A few moments later, each student at the table left the Japanese boy by himself and darted to another table. Once again, the importance of expressing my own beliefs and being myself took precedence over the external pressures to adhere to society. I decided to sit with the young boy and told an adult about the situation. Unaccustomed to the school’s hostile environment, the boy shed tears and was propelled into a state of dejection and grief. “Don’t listen to them,” I said. “They’re just jealous of your intelligence.” Beneath the boy’s brown desolate eyes and dismal expression, arose a faint smile. To this day, I understand the true value of individuality as forming unique beliefs and acting independently can truly improve …show more content…
No amount of television advertisements should cause an individual to delve into mindless consumerist behavior as distinctive characteristics must reign supreme. In the song “Be Yourself” by Frank Ocean, a friend’s mother proclaims to her son, “Don't try to be like someone else/ Don't try to act like someone else, be yourself/ Be secure with yourself/ Rely and trust upon your own decisions” (7-10). Each individual on this planet has distinctive abilities and attributes that define the person. By adapting to societal norms and not trusting our own decisions, we are unable to truly appreciate ourselves. Everyone possesses their own unique potential and accepting ourselves will allow us to prosper and flourish in society. The importance of individuality is not a measurable value, but it can transform one’s life. If one’s mind is weak, there will be immense pressure to conform. However, if one’s mind is strong, the individual will remain ignorant towards societal norms, living comfortably and standing up for particular beliefs. We must understand that others should not influence our personas as trusting individual attributes is

Related Documents

  • Good Essays

    transcendentalism include individualism, a quest for truth, a strong feeling for nature, and a dislike of materialism. The beliefs of transcendentalism, however, include that the senses of humans are limited and that they convey knowledge of the physical world but the deep truths are grasped through intuition, that God, nature, and humanity are united I a shared universal soul, and that the observation of nature illuminates the observation of human beings. Individualism is shown in Ralph Emerson’s…

    • 591 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    themselves with self-reliance and individualism. Although, some people never have the chance to experience the life they have always desired. Most people are fettered to a certain standard by society and feel obligated to obtain that standard to satisfy the people around them. However, Edna Pontellier was not restricted by society and journeyed down her own path. Edna gathered many choices of individualism, transcendentalism, and nonconformity. With regards to individualism, which expresses the habit…

    • 979 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    “Individualism is a belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence.” Emerson’s beliefs in this is evident from the first line, “Ne te quaesiveris extra,” which roughly translates to “Do not seek outside yourself, Look within.” This is a recurring theme throughout the essay. Ralph Waldo Emerson was of the mind that everybody should seek their own way in life and…

    • 1380 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays