Rugged individualism

” Trapped in our traditional rugged individualism, we are an extraordinarily lonely people.  So lonely, in fact, that many cannot even acknowledge their loneliness  to themselves, much less to others. Look at the sad, frozen faces all around you and search in vain for the souls hidden behind masks of makeup, masks of pretense, masks of composure. It does not have to be that way.  Yet many  — most — know no other way. We are desperately in need of a new ethic of “soft individualism” an understanding of individualism which teaches that we cannot be truly ourselves until we are able to share freely the things we most have in common: our weakness, our incompleteness our imperfection, our inadequacy, our sins, our lack of wholeness and self sufficiency. It is the understanding expressed by those in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous when they say ” I’m not OK and your not OK, but that’s OK.”  It is a kind of softness that allows those necessary barriers, our outlines of our individual selves to be permeable membranes, permitting ourselves to seep out and the selves of others to seep in. It is the kind of individualism that acknowledges our interdependence not merely in the intellectual catchwords of the day but in the very depths of our hearts. It is the kind of individualism that makes real community possible.”

Source: M. Scott Peck.The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. Touchstone. Page 58.

2 thoughts on “Rugged individualism”

    1. Please let me know how I can help you? I will be happy to work with you on using the Steps for recovery. Do you live in Iran? If so, know that the Depressed Anonymous groups are translating the English Depressed Anonymous material into Farsi.
      Please send me your thoughts on Step One and how it applies to your life and I will respond. Please do your communications through my email [email protected] –hopefully you can hook up with a fine group in your country as well as we move through the Steps. This journey that you are embarking on will be one that can change your life. All the best.

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