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09-25-22 05:00 AM
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Xeogaming Forums - Sunset Waterfall - Individualism | |
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Not so much dead.

Since: 12-11-04
From: Someday, Somewhere, Over the Rainbow

Since last post: 5824 days
Last activity: 5713 days
Posted on 09-18-06 05:59 PM Link | Quote
Last week my English class was reading about Henry David Thoreau and other Existentialist writers. As I always say, Wikipedia is a better source than I am, but basically what Existentialism is, is a way of thought in which a person almost communicates and connects, spiritually, with the world around them. Of course, being a highschool english teacher, my teacher was inclined to tell us that this sort of thinking should appeal to us. This was kind of comforting, because I could connect with the ideas of these writers in one way or another.

It's a strange coincidence, us studying this at this precise point and time. I've noticed a lot of people changing, around me at least. A lot of them, for the worse. A lot of my friends who once held some sort of agreeable morals are now buckling under peer pressure and, which brings us to the point of this topic, losing their individualism.

It may be through little things, and it all depends on the person. I have one friend who once avidly opposed drug use. Now she believes that she think's it'll be a good idea to give pot a try, just for the experience. I try to explain to her that it's one of those things that doesn't need to be tried to experience it, like a car accident. You know what happens. We all do. You get a feeling, for a little while. Sure, first hand experience is one of the main components to existentialism but, as with every idea, it's got its loopholes. Why does this bother me so? Because she believes that it will open some sort of "artistic" doorway in her mind. She's not alone in thinking this. Just because rock-stars have created masterpieces under the influence does not mean that every person will; they live in much different worlds and times. Now, I said before, I have no problems with drug use, it's not my scene, I shouldn't judge. But when you drag me or art into the equation, it gives me something to defend, and in this case its the latter. I don't see how creating something under the influence is any better than using your own, natural, un-altered mind. I just think it's a cop out for people who can't depend on their own mind to make something impressive. Hell, if someone says to me "I get high to get high, sit around, goof around, and have fun", I have much more respect for them than the person who says they get high for the sake of their art. Das whack. BUT! Who's to say what's right? After all, being an individual means making your own decisions. When people are pressured by others into doing things, or encouraged to do things that they didn't like originally (in the case of my friend) I think people can lose their ability to choose for themselves.

EVERYONE gets peer pressured. I have, you have, the whole world has. We can get "influenced by others", as we all will have to, but sometimes influence can overpower a person's sense of self, I believe. So, what is it that's causing this trend of 'overinfluence'? I'm proud, and whether or not this makes me sound like a jerk is up to you, but I rarely sell out. Everyone talks about how lame myspace is. Who's the one that's told to get one by the very same people and never does? Me... who's the one who's been offered so many substances and turned them down, not because DARE told me to but because I have my own set of oppinions on them? Me... and who's the one who has his ass on track but rarely anybody takes his advice? Me! Because... everyone's an individual! It's all about Me, Me, Me! For everybody!

It's such a confusing subject. To say you want to change the way a person thinks would be taking away their individualism, yet you want to preserve that very thing. When you know that people are going to do things they're going to regret, but you just can't say anything because you're not their master (as they'll more than often point out out of defense), it sucks because you can end up losing someone you care about to something you know is bad and they think is good. But if it's all about ourselves, why do we care about those people in the first place? Is it because we want something from them, and they won't be able to give us what we want if they do something dangerous that may harm them in some way? I suppose that's what it is. As incredibly cynical as it is, we all want something from eachother. Companionship, love, even worldly things like money or sex or connections to others for more to reap. That's why we make friends. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Now, this has gotten a little too deep. Let's talk about individual image. What, to you guys, makes a person an individual, stand out from the crowd, be it in a good or a bad way?

(I didn't know what forum to put this under, but because of the general rantyness of it I decided to put it here)
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