Moving from ‘I’ to ‘We’
"The foundation of individualism lies in a person’s moral right to pursue his or her own happiness. This requires a large amount of independence, initiative,
and self-responsibility." Shawn E Klein
Individualistic societies are those that value the rights of the individual above those of the collective. Modern western cultures such as America, Europe and Australia are based on this principal. The individual’s rights come first – and they’re free to pursue their goals and
dreams. Collective societies, such as most African and Asian cultures, value the family and the community. Individuals within those cultures will tend to make decisions based on how it would impact their family and their community.
Societies that favour individualism tend to be selfish, and foster people who promote their self-interest. On the other hand, societies who favour collectivism can be seen as ignoring individual rights or independence. I believe that both systems have their place in society and our spiritual journey. In the first part of our lives, we explore who we are and create our personalities, characters and values. Once that has been achieved, I believe the focus then needs to shift to who we are in the collective – and how our decisions and actions affect those around us. This is the pursuit of the eleventh room. From this space, we begin to make choices that impact our community favourably.
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