Home Sapiens- a common word that is used to recognize each individual who stays on this planet, everyone you meet each day, all your friends, family are all the same. Surrounding ourselves with similar people has to lead us to believe that we all are the same, Collectivism. What we forget is each moment is different, each birth is unique, each individual’s story is one of a kind, and each individual is distinct from the others, Individualism.
Despite the difference and the individualism, we believe more in the power of collectivism and view each other as the same. This creates a sense of unity and strength, but also sometimes impacts our mental health as we start comparing our life journeys to others.
Before we discuss further on these topics, let’s discuss what individualism and collectivism are:
A social theory favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control. An individualist is always motivated by personal benefits and rewards. People set personal goals and objectives and are very comfortable working with autonomy.
An individualist focuses on the kind of life they want to live, act on their own judgement and pursue values in a way they want to.
Any of several types of social organisation in which the individual is seen as being subordinate to a social collectivity such as a state, a nation, a race, or a social class. It is motivated by group goals and people easily sacrifice their individual benefits or praise to recognise and honour the team’s success.
Group goals and a shared mindset/values are collectivist motivators. Collectivists are willing to forego personal gain in the name of the team’s success. Individualism is the polar opposite of this concept. Because they believe in the organization’s mission, collectivists frequently sacrifice their personal ambitions and ideals for the greater good of the group.
Collectivism Vs Individualism
The first cultural value inculcated in us is individualism, which is focused on individual rights and powers. Right from school, we are told to do individual homework, study for individual exams and focus on individual careers. However, as we start to grow, the focus shifts from individual to group goals.
Self-confidence, individual excellence, and inventiveness are all benefits of individualism, but they can also lead to resistance to change, a lack of teamwork, and increasing disputes.
People who refuse to comply with or follow set standards and processes may have an impact on a team’s performance.
Even if these aren’t the most pressing concerns in a collectivist group, they can nevertheless occur. You may feel less engaged or inspired to excel when individual efforts are (for the most part) disregarded. Due to the desire to serve the group, this approach may also stifle innovation and creativity.
Collectivism or individualism
You may balance individualism and collectivism in your life to get the best of both worlds. Adopt collectivism’s concept of teamwork while simultaneously promoting individual innovation in each group member.
Without individualism, we lose ourselves in the collective and somehow start to follow the herd mentality of working. This leads to a lack of confidence, a constant need for approval from peers and most of all an unstable mental state of constant comparison.
At the same time, collectivism helps instil the feeling of oneness with your environment and those around you. It helps establish law and order and ensures that the balance of society is maintained.
Why Collectivism or Individualism?
We often sit to wonder, why we behave the way we do. While sometimes we accept our nature, often we start questioning our existence and in this loop of finding answers we either adopt individualism or collectivism.
What we forget is that our today is a well put together past, waiting to shape our future.
If you really want to understand life, human behaviour and the secret to life, it is always a wise decision to learn from someone who has lived their life.
Henry Miller, on his eightieth birthday wrote a beautiful essay on the subject of aging and the key to living a full life. The essay was published in 1972, in an ultra limited edition chapbook titled ‘On turning Eighty’, along with two other essays. 200 copies of the book were published, numbered and signed by the author.
One thing seems more and more evident to me now — people’s basic character does not change over the years… Far from improving them, success usually accentuates their faults or short-comings. The brilliant guys at school often turn out to be not so brilliant once they are out in the world. If you disliked or despised certain lads in your class you will dislike them even more when they become financiers, statesmen or five star generals. Life forces us to learn a few lessons, but not necessarily to grow.
Miller sums up life in a beautiful lines:
My motto has always been: “Always merry and bright.” Perhaps that is why I never tire of quoting Rabelais: “For all your ills I give you laughter.” As I look back on my life, which has been full of tragic moments, I see it more as a comedy than a tragedy. One of those comedies in which while laughing your guts out you feel your inner heart breaking. What better comedy could there be? The man who takes himself seriously is doomed…
There is nothing wrong with life itself. It is the ocean in which we swim and we either adapt to it or sink to the bottom. But it is in our power as human beings not to pollute the waters of life, not to destroy the spirit which animates us.
The most difficult thing for a creative individual is to refrain from the effort to make the world to his liking and to accept his fellow man for what he is, whether good, bad or indifferent.
Life goes on no matter what path you choose for yourself. What is important that you maintain a right balance between staying individualistic, while also complying to the collectivism rules. A right mix of both will make life simple and worth each moment.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. We do not remember days, we remember moments.
One thought on “The Rule of Collectivism and Individualism”
Comments are closed.