As an outsider, I have been lead down a road that inevitably will be a dead end. However, this twisted mess of a road has had many pleasant and informative stops, some felt as if I was being invited to the family picnic on the fourth of July. Yet the next turn led me down a private darkened path. The journey has injured the heart, worn out the proverbial fingers, and enlightened me on several occasions. While I understand these issues, the complexity of it all may be explained by pure definition.
The term “Community” in human communities, is intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. “Individuality” is the state or quality of being. Example: a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Individualism can be a gift or a curse depending on the context in which it occurs.
Because modern society finds it important that people think independently, decide autonomously and take personal initiatives, the concept of individualism has acquired a positive connotation. However, individualism is also linked with the tendency to withdraw from social life and turn in towards oneself. All through history there have been struggles to “fit in” to be and individual while being part of the inclusive community. Yet to act as an individual, mainstream society will have a person thrown out of a community unless one conforms to their ways.
While in Don Marquis, “The Lessons of the Moth”, it states that the moth would rather fly straight into the flame even at the cost of his own life for true harmony and happiness verses sitting at a distance and watching. Does this leave the impression that the moth may never find happiness if he doesn’t change to and conform to what the “Community” wants? To say, one would commit suicide over such painful issues. What a dark dangerous path one must be on to end a life.
In Richard Rodriguez’s “The Chinese in All of Us” He enlightens us all by stating “to choose or not to choose, and diversity is our strength” left me with the thought that while you have the choice to choose there is always a negative ramification if you choose incorrectly. With the example that in school he is made to speak up and look the teacher in the eye, yet, at home it is seen as disrespect to his father. What choice did he have he was in trouble either way he turned. He was forced to be multicultural, although to an extent he was also forced to hide each side from the other.
While there are currently many different opinions about what it is to be an American. The words of our forefathers ring in our heads daily. Children start each school day by saying the pledge of allegiance. “One Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for All” are these words truthful? Because there has also been talk of the great melting pot of America, what does that really mean? Does it mean that no matter the color of one’s skin or ethnicity that we as Americans are free to make choices to choose whom we want to be? If we choice to be part of the community and be part of the common goal whatever that may be its ok.
Whereas if the belief system is not the same as another person’s, this would not be a good fit into this one community. As an individual, one must then search for a new community. America is made up of many communities and individuals sometimes it would appear that a community shoves an individual out to be the “Spokes Person” to see how other communities will react, if they react well then arms are open wide in a receptive welcome, as if an exit never happened. However if the words chosen are not receptive to the mainstream community, a person may be ousted or evicted from the community.
Begin again, start a new journey. While reading John Hope Franklin’s essay “Train from Hate” may have started this journey into trying to figure out exactly what community and individuality is all about. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” states repetitively that oppression must stop and that all were created equally his intensions are to protest in a nonviolent way, and that he is at his last resort to actually protest. He speaks of self-purification and desegregation all in the name of equality. Placing blame up the “white moderate”, which as
I see to be the leadership of our country. It would be fair to say the moderate of our everyday life has been conformed in some way all for the greater good of community. There is no question that race is a part of the issue as well as stating religion the color of your eyes and your social status play a huge role. Whereas the most prominent sentence off all the stories I have read this past week one in particular has stood out. John Hope Franklins “Train from Hate” states the words all should live by, “Under No circumstance should I be upset or distressed because someone sought to demean me”(223).
We are in a community of 1000’s of individuals. One could break these up into several categories male/female, black/white, religious or not the list is too long. Only you as an individual can decide what’s best for you either or. Works Cited “Abjection. ” Wikipedia. org. Wikimedia. 20 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. “Community. ” Wikipedia. org. Wikimedia. 20 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. Franklin, John Hope. “Train from Hate. ” Reading Literature and Writing Argument 5th ed. Eds. Missy James and Alan P. Merickel. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 223-24. Print. “Individuality. Wikipedia. org. Wikimedia. 20 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail. ” Reading Literature and Writing Argument 5th ed. Eds. Missy James and Alan P. Merickel. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 224-35. Print. Marquis, Don. “The Lesson of the Moth. ” Reading Literature and Writing Argument 5th ed. Eds. Missy James and Alan P. Merickel. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 196-97. Print. Rodriguez, Richard. “The Chinese in All of Us. ” Reading Literature and Writing Argument 5th ed. Eds. Missy James and Alan P. Merickel. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 242-48. Print.