Individuality Special Feature

Individuality is what distinguishes or separates one person from other persons. Individualism is reliance on the individual person or self, over social control, whether overt or covert. Paradoxically, individualism can emphasize the moral worth of every person, or the primacy of the individual in any conception of freedom, or putting one’s own moral worth above that of others.

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A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

— Albert Einstein

The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

— Albert Einstein

There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe…
At every crossing of the threads there is an individual.
And every individual is a crystal bead.
And every crystal bead reflects
Not only the light from every other crystal in the net
But also every other reflection
Throughout the entire universe.

— Anne Adams, an adaptation of one of the oldest written creations of humanity: “The Net of Jewels, or Indra’s Net”

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.

— Babe Ruth

It is important for this country to make its people so obsessed with their own liberal individualism that they do not have time to think about a world larger than self.

— bell hooks, Black Genius: African-American Solutions to African-American Problems

If one is not faithful to their own individuality, then they cannot by loyal to anything.

— Claude McKay (slightly modified)

No abundance of material goods can compensate for the death of individuality and personal creativity.

— Coretta Scott King

Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else.

— Coretta Scott King

It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.

— Donald Woods Winnicott

I was motivated to be different in part, because I was different.

— Donna Brazile

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.

— Elizabeth Foley

Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do.

— Elvis Presley

We shall grow in the attempt to help others to grow. Every human being is valuable…. Neither individualism, nor altruism is the satisfying life. People grow and develop in proportion as they help others grow and develop…. The attempt to actualize the potential in others, unfolds resources dormant in ourselves. This dedication to self and others harmonizes the ever conflicting claims of individualism and altruism. The good of oneself, and the good of others, emerge together.

— Felix Adler

The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light.

— Felix Adler

Every one looks upon the world from a different angle. Every person becomes individualized through dealing with life. In the workshop of daily living the soul is born. The daily tasks is the anvil on which one must beat out one’s selfhood.

— Felix Adler

Some people say each person has a soul. I would say each person comes into the world with the possibility of a soul. The aim of life is to change our potential soul into an actuality. The whole purpose of life is to become an individual; to become a personality; to acquire distinct selfhood.

— Felix Adler

One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.

— Franklin Thomas

You can survive on your own; you can grow strong on your own; you can prevail on your own; but you cannot become human on your own.

— Frederick Buechner

Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.

— Friedrich Froebel

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The way you get to know yourself is by the expression on other people’s faces.

— Gil Scott Heron

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.

— Janis Joplin

Whatever helps to shape the human being — to make the individual what he is, or hinder him from being what he is not — is part of his education.

— John Stuart Mill

The human condition is that we are individuals in relationship, and there are tensions between individuality and relatedness. A humanist spirituality is not one of complete dependence, nor of complete independence — neither condition can be defended as primary. Rather, a humanist spirituality is one of interdependence.

— Jone Johnson Lewis

Although the act of nurturing another’s spiritual growth has the effect of nurturing one’s own, a major characteristic of genuine love is that the distinction between oneself and the other is always maintained and preserved.

— M. Scott Peck

Remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives, nor lives any other than this which he now loses.

— Marcus Aurelius

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

— Margaret Mead

First, we are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

[W]e are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. The individual or nation that feels that it can live in isolation has allowed itself to sleep through a revolution. The geographical togetherness of the modern world makes our very existence dependent on co-existence. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Because of our involvement in humanity we must be concerned about every human being.

— Martin Luther King Jr.
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