Monday, April 27, 2020

The Most Rugged Individualist Still Has Only Two Hands

by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

Our survival and success as a species are the result of being social, and not by acting only to further our own self-interests. That lesson has gotten lost in recent times. The idea that we all act in our own self-interest will somehow serve our collective benefit is simply wrong. We should think for ourselves, yes, but act with consideration towards the common good.  

We are nothing if not social beings. This may sound a bit more controversial than it is, but even our most intimate view of ourselves, of who we are as a person, is a composite of our interactions with others, beginning with our parents. We are literally nothing if we are not social, and we can only survive in community with others.

The high value we place on individualism today is a message of disunity that degrades our greatest survival strengths. The most rugged individualists still have only two hands. A better balance would be one hand for yourself and one for all others.

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