The clothes you wear, the food you eat, the books you read, and the ideas you wear on your sleeve. Are they the expression of yourself? How could it be, that the creations of other men are used by people to form some sort of pseudo-identity for themselves? This particular phenomenon is so prevalent today, that is one of the reasons that most lack a sense of clear purpose; they find themselves in things which have not been created by them. Yet, what is worse is that most find themselves in the words of others.
When someone says that “I must be funny, handsome, intelligent because so and so thinks so, or said so”, they are inherently devaluing themselves, not only because they are basing their existence on the opinion of others, rather because they rely on them to form their own idea of what they must become. They mold themselves to other’s expectations, or what they might perceive as expectations. They mold their own individuality to that of the collective, which is a cesspool of mediocrity. It is pretty much similar to suicide, but that of one’s character and mind.
There is an imperative difference between saying “I am” and “They think I am”. The former is an acceptance of one’s self-reliance, the latter is the reliance on others. The former is an expression of strength, while the latter is an expression of weakness. Yet, this distressing polarity is the result of people’s lack of understanding of what comprises identity.
What are you, if not the integrity of your convictions, and of what makes you happy? Yet, today people come to you and say that you must compromise to make others happy, for your achievement may bring others harm. You mold yourself to them looking for acceptance believing that by compromising to other’s needs you will find what you need: self-esteem. You believe that by helping everyone else around you achieve their dreams that you will have the confidence to lead your own life. These are the factors that comprise of a man’s reliance on the words of others.
Yet, ask yourself: What is individuality?
You see them, walking around. They have pink hair, or flashy clothes, listen to obscure music and hold even more obscure beliefs, and somehow they have the audacity to claim they are individuals. When in fact their very “individuality” is comprised of their need to be accepted. They might say they don’t care, but all they do is care of what others think of them, and the proof is the fact that they act in mannerisms that prescribe to being contrarian for the sake of being one, and not actually holding to one’s own personal beliefs.
To be an individual is not an expression of dissent, but an expression of one’s integrity which will probably create dissent, but that is not the primary motive. A true individual does and expresses themselves however they want just because they crave attention, rather because they do not care for it. Not because they want to surprise or dazzle, rather because they are indifferent to it. Not because they want to find somewhere to belong, rather because they do not wish to belong.
In other words, an expression of the self is not a superficial aspect of what one wears or what music he/she listens to, but it is a complex understanding of what one is about, what one’s goals and dreams are, and more importantly what makes one happy.
Have you ever heard the phrase “You are the average of your five closest friends”. The person, or the collective mentality I suspect, that came up with this statement, are a perfect example of the men and women who believe that happiness is found in others, and not first in yourself. The very heinous nature of this saying entails that you only take the attributes of five people you happen to know, and are a mediocre conglomerate of other people, not yourself. Now ask yourself, do these type of sayings induce men to find their self-esteem in themselves, or others?
These people attack your character when you call them on these facts, they might say for instance that you are a sociopath, that perhaps society is not a place for your. Yet, in any instance throughout life, when one learns to live for himself/herself, they have better relationships romantic or not. The reason being is because they are not slave drivers or slaves, they do not demand happiness to be given, but it is a voluntary exchange. They are not needy, nor do they demand neediness.
In a relationship between people, whatever it may be, if the sole originator of happiness is the other person, then imagine the subjugation that one must experience in relation to the other. When one claims that “I live for other people”, they are in fact claiming that they demand of others to supply them with happiness, and also pushes their happiness on others. While when an individual knows himself first, they may love without need, without demands, without tyranny.
The individual is not his relationships, he is not the people he meets, he is not the ideas he discusses, the movies or books he reads. He is one thing only: the person that he becomes, the things that he creates, the values that he holds to himself as dear. He is not anyone, but himself, and the expression of himself.