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Individualism drives much of what’s wrong about Western thinking. I see proponents of this practically salivate over the misfortunes of others who are seen as being to blame for their own misery.
While they make use of publicly funded utilities, roads, schools they perpetuate the myth they did it all by themselves. Independent, without help, self made – such complete, arrogant bullshit.
They treat life like a zero sum game. They see other people as competition in a world of scarcity. They want to collect as much as they can for themselves and see sharing as an insult to their sense of entitlement.
Their needs are met by a complex socio-economic system that made it possible. A system we all must support and cross our fingers will support us when we need it.
Then there’s Ubuntu, an African saying that means, “I am because we are.”
It recognizes that the human experience is intimately shared, but also personal. It understands that we are not separate from each other or our environment.
Rugged individualism is great for the ego and is rooted in pride and selfishness.
It has little or no place in a world more and more connected. We have been leaning on each other’s shared humanity recently like I’ve never experienced before.
This is how it must be for human beings to realize just how much of an impact we have on each other. Yes, there are plenty of individualists out there referring to those who struggle as, “Pussies who just need to toughen up.” If you believe that about people, it doesn’t make you independent or strong, it just makes you an asshole.
You have multiple communities available to you whether you connect with and participate in them is up to you (e.g. friendships, family, neighborhood, town, etc.)
Either way it isn’t about you or me, it’s about we.
It’s about time WE act like it.