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Individuality

  • Each human is uniquely different. Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice.

    • Alice Childress,
    • "A Candle in a Gale Wind," in Mari Evans, ed., Black Women Writers (1950-1980) ()
  • Nature made us individuals, as she did the flowers and the pebbles; but we are afraid to be peculiar, and so our society resembles a bag of marbles, or a string of mould candles. Why should we all dress after the same fashion? The frost never paints my windows twice alike.

  • The boughs of no two trees ever have the same arrangement. Nature always produces individuals; She never produces classes.

  • What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.

  • But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts.

  • He's a ragged individualist.

  • I am inherently important and uniquely designed to do my own thing so perfectly that no one else in the world can do it like me.

  • We all know we are unique individuals, but we tend to see others as representatives of groups.

  • We humans are herd animals of the monkey tribe, not natural individuals as lions are. Our individuality is partial and restless; the stream of consciousness that we call 'I' is made of shifting elements that flow from our group and back to our group again. Always we seek to be ourselves and the herd together, not One against the herd.

  • To have one's individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light.

  • The only good thing we can do, the only goodness we can be sure of, is our own goodness as individuals and the good that we can individually do. As groups we often do evil that good may come and very often the good does not come and all that is left is the evil we have pointlessly done.

  • ... our golden opportunity with children lies in recognition and appreciation of their individual differences developed and fused with a social purpose. We do not in our gardens try to make a calendula into a rose. We try to learn the needs of calendulas and help them grow into the best calendulas possible. If we are true gardeners we have a sort of uprush of happiness in the individual beauty of each variety of flower ...

  • The recognition of personal separateness — of others having their own concepts, different from his, because they see things from their position and condition as individuals and not from his own — is not ordinarily possible before a child is seven. Immaturity in adults reveals itself clearly in the retention of this infantile orientation.

  • There is no hope for the world unless and until we formulate, accept and state publicly a true moral code of individualism, based on man's inalienable right to live for himself. Neither to hurt nor to serve his brothers, but to be independent of them in his function and in his motive. Neither to sacrifice them for himself nor to sacrifice himself for them ...

    • Ayn Rand,
    • 1943, in Michael S. Berliner, ed., Letters of Ayn Rand ()
  • [Popular saying among the nuns:] If you've met one Benedictine, you've met one Benedictine.

  • We all try to be alike in our youth, and individual in our middle age ... although we sometimes mistake eccentricity for individuality.

  • There's a point, around age twenty . . . when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life, or to make a virtue of your peculiarities.

  • American culture, perhaps more than any other, prizes individualism. Our narratives of art, politics, and business idolize the person who triumphs against the odds, with only himself or herself to answer to. The lone wolf. The stranger in town. The maverick. The plucky kid. The Final Girl. You've only got yourself, in the end. It's all up to you.