The power of individuality
by: Shirin Tabibzadeh


Imagine if we all looked alike, wouldn’t that make the world a boring place?  The other day I was looking at a crowd in a huge gathering and I thought how interesting it was, so many faces and not even one resembling the other.

I am always so fascinated by this art of nature in which by using just a few elements billions of people are created each having his/her own individuality (except of-course for identical twins).

The same thing goes for human nature and characteristics, each of us thinking in a different manner and looking at things based on our own individuality.  It is only by understanding this individuality of character and thought of a person that we are able to contain ourselves and be less harsh on his/her behavioral habit.  People are indeed different, They should be different.  understanding this will also make us less judgmental and more objective.  It is people’s unique individuality that makes them more interesting and the world a vibrant colorful dynamic place.  It is this individuality that colors the world with its endless variations.  Individuality is like a window overlooking our planet through which we each see something different.

When this uniqueness is mixed with creativity, artistic expression is the result.   The form of a tree could be depicted by an artist such as Vincent Van Gogh with a bold, colorful approach, but an oriental or a Persian artist could paint a tree in a completely different  manner, using delicate, fragile strokes of the brush and neutral coloring. In the hand of an artist such as Picasso, the tree may be unrecognizable, presented to us in a highly imaginative layout.

Composers create songs quite unlike each other although some times using the same instrument.  Compare Beethoven and Gershwin.  Both played the piano, but using its eighty-eight keys they came up with variant melodies.

Great works of literature are those that will withstand the test of time and become never-forgotten classics.  Authors such as Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Nabokov, Virginia Wolfe, Louisa May Alcott, and James Joyce are some of the many that have succeeded beautifully in expressing their feelings and thoughts in words.

It fascinates me that the Bronte sisters –Charlotte and Emily – lived in the same house, set on the same moors, but each responded to their surroundings quite differently.  Charlotte cared more about human relationships while Emily tried to discover man’s place in the elemental world of storm and passion.

When individuality is intermingled with curiosity and intelligence mankind finds the world of scientific discoveries.  Two men that greatly influenced the field of science were Galileo and Albert Einstein.

Galileo, an Italian astronomer and physicist, has been called the founder of modern experimental science.  He discovered the law of the pendulum and the famous law of falling bodies. He also discovered many important new facts about astronomy.  He firmly upheld the theory of Copernicus that the earth moves around the sun.  The church bitterly opposed Galileo  They forced him to say that he gave up his belief of Copernicus , and sentenced him to an indefinite confinement to his villa in Florence.

Albert Einstein is best known for his theory of relativity which revolutionized scientific thought with new conceptions of time, space, mass, motion, and gravitation.  In doing so, he showed the limitations of Newtonian physics and provided a new framework for looking at our Universe.

When individuality is combined with the questions of man’s nature and needs, society finds its men of religion, statesmanship, and philosophy.

Religion can best be defined as the belief that a divine power created the world and influences our lives. 

A statesman is one who exercises political leadership wisely.  Gandhi exercised this leadership in the finest ways, ending years of oppression by a super power of his time in India without violence.  Churchill’s personal courage, the magic of his words, and his faith in victory inspired the British to “their finest hour”.  Mandela suffered for years to prove that humans are all equal and given the opportunity can equally contribute to better their lives.

Philosophers seek to understand the mysteries of existence and reality.  Three influential philosophers were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  Our ideas in the fields of metaphysics, science, logic, and ethics originated from their thought.  Socrates tried to get a definition or a precise view of some abstract idea by using a question-and-answer method.  Plato believed that we cannot gain knowledge of things through our senses because of their inherent limitations.  Aristotle was the father of scientific thought and inquiry.  He approached any problem from what we know and proceeded by seeking the answers to the question – how, what, and why.  However to explain man’s existence and origin he developed the idea of a “first cause”, meaning something not caused by anything.  Later , this concept was embraced by Christian theologians to explain the existence of God.

One can go on and on…..indeed man’s uniqueness of thought and approach to life has made the world the colorful place it is.  Throughout the history, those who were different with unconventional thoughts, had to pay big prices for their uniqueness but finally they prevailed.

We all have a spark of individualism in us, making potential for us to do something great.  Many of us are afraid and prefer to be one of the crowd lest the tag of unconventional.  Those who are daring enough to be different, hopefully in a good way, will leave a name that will never die.

 So don’t worry if you are different and  don’t hesitate to be yourself, let your genius out.