Do we take comfort in being one of many or in being unique, I wonder?
I think we take comfort in being one of many. Knowing there are other like us to support and understand us. But we thrive on being unique because it creates a sense of excitement and wonder and belief that anything could happen if everyone is different and unpredictable.
Hmm, yes. I thoroughly agree, Georgia. I just think it’s so interesting to try and figure out where an individual ends and a member of a community begins. It is true that believing you are unique is one of the first steps of self-efficacy, and to take control of your life. Because only when you believe you are different can you believe you are able to add value in your own way. Believing that I’m a useful and productive person is comforting to me, though in a way that is different from knowing I share similar thoughts, emotions and experiences with others.
Difference validates our contribution to a social system, and yet, we structure our societies according to commonalities as well. We both discover and create a common language, because we need to be socially anchored. We take comfort in both empathy and solipsism.
How do we balance that need for both diversity and similarity?