Individualism is a multifarious concept that is really hard to grasp because of the ideological perspective one puts on the definition. One form of individualism that people often think about is rugged individualism: the kind of individualism that focuses on self interest. Another type of individualism that is often thought of is of the more humanistic variety: one defined by the discovery of self and guiding their own destiny.

To a great extent rugged individualism is spiritual death. This death is caused by selfishness and indifference to the existence of others. This theory holds that the only way to discover ones true self is to only consider self interest as paramount to reaching a goal. This way of thinking is narrow and has a myopic, tunnel vision way of viewing life. Anyone who stands in their way had best be careful, for they will be crushed.

Individualism of the humanistic variety is a type of self discovery that is quite different. This belief entails asking questions that are essential to self-determination. Learning is done for the purposes of advancement and contentment. Walking through many doors and hoping to find the right path to fulfillment is the goal. If fortunate, the individual will find their way without staying in the dark rooms too long.

One burning question is does any sense of individualism conflict with the quest for companionship? Not entirely-for knowing oneself enables one to know how they relate to others. How much should a person depend on others? Only as much as it provides comfort without being needy; for that creates a vulnerability that can be exploited. Considering all of the forms individualism may take; the journey is essential to life.


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