Highly creative people are (In order to remain somewhat mentally stable and to be free to create things at will) the ultimate individualists.
Community is suitable (And necessary) for most people, but collectivism isn’t very forgiving of those who prefer to take life at their own pace. Some people march to their own beat. And that’s okay. It should be okay.
Politically, I believe in collectivism in the sense that everyone should have equal rights, free access to health care, good education, safety, and a means to make a living for themselves. Personally, though, I’m an individualist to the core.
We need both sets of views to have a well-functioning society. Neither system is all good or all bad in and of itself. Different people need different things to thrive. I happen to need more independence and alone time than most people in order to feel functional and alive.
“Individualism is thus also associated with artistic and bohemian interests and lifestyles where there is a tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors as so also with humanist philosophical positions and ethics.”
Individualist people aren’t selfish. I identify as an individualist for my own personal life & it’s the way I’ve found best to maintain my mental health. I need an extraordinary amount of alone time, and there have been times when living in a community household where I felt myself literally going insane due to the constant interactions with other people. There is little respect for lone walks or quiet mornings in a house full of social people & that lifestyle is the direct opposite of what makes me happy.
Even sharing a house with a landlord can prove frustrating when I’m off to start my day and go be free and she wants to have a short chit chat over tea. Some people would find that very kind, but I don’t want that in my life. It hinders me and stresses me out, because first, they’re putting me in a position to turn down their offer when I already made it clear that I’m off to go start the day, and second, they often ask me why I’m in “such a hurry.”
I’m never in a hurry. I simply want to be on my way with no interruptions. Life can be unpredictable, but my home must be peaceful and free of any form of control.
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like the feel of a community. I don’t want isolation. I like helping people, but I have my own way of going about it. I like friendship, but the times we see each other are more spaced out.
I enjoy writing at cafes and exploring the city streets and enjoying a conversation with other intellectuals or sharing kind words with a friendly merchant. On the other hand, all of these interactions are at arms’ length. I am more of an observer than an interactive person.
I like going on adventures alone. I like waking up alone. I like walking alone and commuting alone.
It gives me peace. It makes me feel happy to be alive.
I also enjoy sharing a meal with close friends and family. It’s wonderful to have the people in my life that I do. I love them and I love their company.
But on a daily basis, I need my own space, my own beat, with no set schedule and no one relying on me to be anywhere on time (Aside from my job, of course, which gives me the independence to be an individual).
You see, this is how I stay sane so that I can allow my imagination to soar. When my imagination soars, I can write more. Writing more produces more books. Writing books is my favourite thing in life to do. See the connection.
And so, yes, I am an individualist.
Leave me be.
Let me be free.
Allow me to be me.