Do you feel selfish because of your individualism?
Does your individualism make you feel guilty? While it is important to look out for the interests of others, you will have to do the same for yourself.
Individualism plays a large part in modern society and has definite benefits. So what is it, and how can you gain from it?
Individualism and modern society
Industrialization and economic growth in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the development of the individual.
It resulted in the rise of capitalism, which stressed that each person’s economic needs were critical. Adam Smith was one of its earliest advocates. He believed that the welfare of society benefited most when each person met his or her needs.
Then, the notion that all individuals and ideas deserve equal treatment began to develop. People started to believe that they had the right to make personal decisions. Democracy emerged, with its proponents feeling that society, and governments, should treat all members with the same dignity.
These changes made great thinkers such as Edmund Burke sit at the edge of their seats. He feared that the stress on equality would lead to a breakdown of the social order. Further, he worried that people would have no sense of community identity.
The Battle Between Individualism and Collectivism
So is individualism always appropriate? Take ringside seats because the fight between Individualism and Collectivism begins. Where do you draw the line? Who would you want to win, yourself or others?
You must look out for yourself because you would have nothing left to give others if you did not. But the needs of your community are as important. The person who bears the burden of the consequences gets to decide.
How Individualism Can Help You Thrive in Modern Society
So, who is the winner in this battle? Which would you pick, Individualism or Collectivism? Being an individual may seem selfish, but it has benefits.
1. Encourages consideration for others’ feelings
First of all, it encourages you to spare a thought for everyone’s feelings, including yours. While it may seem to go against the idea of looking out for others, it prompts you to remember that they also have personal needs.
2. Helps you achieve success
Next, it gives you the right to make personal career and financial decisions. You will have more chances to reach success and grow your wealth when you make decisions based on your own needs and values.
3. Helps you realize your potential
Also, remembering your needs helps you realize your potential. Personality differences bring together people with different strengths and weaknesses.
4. You are the owner of your thoughts
Probably the most important benefit of individualism in modern society is that it encourages you to think for yourself. By making personal decisions, you will exercise your ability to think do so.
5. Builds self-esteem
Finally, it builds self-esteem. With great responsibility comes great power. You will feel confident knowing that you are responsible for your conduct and actions.
In all, individualism has a definite place in modern society and can help you thrive. It does not point to selfishness. That said, balance is necessary. You will need to remember that others have the right to make decisions, especially when circumstances affect them more than you.
What are your thoughts about individualism and collectivism? Do leave them in the comments.