Society: An End to the Individual

In our personal and professional lives, it has become the norm to imitate others whom we believe are doing things better than us. They can be colleagues, friends, family or public figures. But often than not, shreds of our purpose and goals in life are lost in this process.

Differences can be healthy if we strive for those things that can make us achieve our personal goals. It encourages us to be the best that we are capable of being without losing track of personal ambitions.

We should indeed be able to learn from the experiences of others, but this should not mean replicating them. Every individual that copies another is a loss to society, devastating socioeconomic advancements that are often prevalent upon the diversity of ideas and processes.

It is best that we learn how to collaborate and accept the reality of life instead of continually trying to outdo each other measuring up to the general perceptions of greatness. Every one of us have unique skills and desires where we excel in life.

Looking to attend a public university over private ones that are generally considered to be lagging in quality, marrying young not to do as such later in life, and choosing an established, high-end profession are the pressures society imposes almost on everyone.

Our life is like sandpaper that is polished and smoothed out as we keep on living – notably, it always remains rough. Every one of us can be of great influence. In so many senses we are our brand image. We represent our vision and mission and influence people who support them.

Although human beings might be collaborative and compassionate, we all should have different approaches and perceptions. But we rarely see this in our society. Most are enticed with being exactly like their peers.

From neighbours who renovate their houses comparably, to youth that select colleges and majors in unison, the problem is widespread. This has gotten us to a point where some feel guilty because their life path seems a little different than the many, and they feel that is a mistake that needs to be corrected.

Few use their ability to think imaginatively and influence others. This not only establishes a fulfilling life path but also creates role models.

Growing up, I always wanted to become a medical doctor just because my family convinced me that it is the optimum profession that exists out there.

I figured later in life that despite my respect for the profession, it is not for me. I discovered that I have other life paths to follow that can allow me to contribute to my country and society better.

The prevailing thought though is toxic. It forces us to look at the world through a narrow lens. It has created a whole generation that believes having a successful life means picking the path most trodden.

Our crisis has to do with a certain mindset. The perception that we lack something because our life does not seem similar to the majority is the crucial problem. The more desperately one wants to be like others, the more unworthy that person would feel, regardless of how much has been achieved.

Undoubtedly family is the first crucial institution for the development of personality and life goals that get refined as we get older. It is here that any child first becomes involved in social life, absorbs its values and standards of behaviour, and specific goals. It is this primary institution that bears significant responsibility in shaping society.

As someone grows older and enters society, the influence of one person on another becomes the main educational force. It is essential that a person should feel oneself as part of the community. People can share certain political, moral, cultural, and scientific believes but also remain individualistic.

The interests of the individual though get synchronised with that of the community more often than not. Our affairs are regulated not only by ourselves but also by the social standards and collective reasons of mind.  It is here that it is vital to have societal values that have respect for individual rights.

Diverse opinions sharpen and polish the mind and shape the character and will of individuals. A person’s whole rational mindset bears the clear imprint of the life of society as a whole. Most individualistic practical activities are individual expressions of the historically formed social practice.

A person is a link in a society that makes the latter’s perception vital to shaping every person and an individual’s ability. The nature of society is not set in stone, but can and should be moulded and refined. The most advanced and tolerant societies did not come about out of the blue; they were influenced by individuals who could see what others could not.

By Eden Sahle
Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied Law and International Economic Law. She can be reached at

Published on Jul 14,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 950]



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