Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The being of the Individual

“Every person must render account to God. No third person dares venture to intrude upon this accounting. God in heaven does not talk to us as to an assembly; he speaks to each individually. Each one has the task of becoming an individual.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Everyday we are encountered with others who tell us what to believe, who advise that their interpretation is the correct one, and that they, above all others, know what is happening. We do not just encounter this in religion, but we encounter it in life. We interact with people that are so sure that they alone have been given the truth, when in reality; the truth will be spoken to each individual by God, if only they will listen.

“True individuality is measured by this: how long or how far one can endure being alone without the understanding of others. The person who can endure being alone is poles apart from the social mixer. He is miles apart from the man-pleaser, the one who manages successfully with everyone – he who possesses no sharp edges. God never uses such people. The true individual, anyone who is going to be directly involved with God, will not and cannot avoid the human bite. He will be thoroughly misunderstood. God is no friend of cozy human gathering.” – Kierkegaard

I used to think it would be great if everyone liked me, I thought that would mean that I was successful and productive in work and life. However, for me that did not work. I could not sacrifice that which I believed or held dear for the sake of being “in”. It happens to me at work all too often. I do not have the need to be “in” in this culture of cliques. I know the reason I am here. That reason may or may not be different from why others are here. However, I do not need to have the same reason as the “in”. This does not mean that I am confrontational or antagonistic, quite the contrary, this means that I am able to stay the course without having to worry if I am “toeing the line”. I want to be able to stand up and do what needs to be done, without worrying about how the “in” will view me. I want to be able to maintain my individuality.

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