26 Quotes Regarding Individuality


In social institutions, the whole is always less than the sum of its parts. There will never be a state as good as its people, or a church worthy of its congregation, or a university equal to its faculty and students.
Edward Abbey

The nail that sticks out must be hammered down.
Chinese Proverb

My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others! My manner of thinking stems straight from my considered reflections; it holds with my existence, with the way I am made. It is not in my power to alter it; and were it, I'd not do so.
Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade

Independent self people (would be) a counterproductive anachronism in the collective society of the future [...] (where) people will be defined by their associations.
John Dewey

No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as ifa promitory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
John Donne

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.
Bob Dylan

Americans are the only people in the world known to me whose status anxiety prompts them to advertise their college and university affiliations in the rear window oftheir automobiles.
Paul Fussell

We tend to see our own experiences as the normal process, so we are often amazed that anyone could have taken a different path. But when we do meet up, it's always fascinating to compare notes about the different ways to get there.
Daniel Gilly

Surely every human being ought to attain to the dignity of the unit. Surely it is worth while to be one, and to feel that the census of the universe would be incomplete without counting you. Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and all depths; that there are no walls or fences, or prohibited places, or sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought; that your intellect owes no allegiance to any being, human or divine; that you hold all in fee, and upon no condition, and by no tenure, whatsoever; that in the world of mind you are relieved from all personal dictation, and from the ignorant tyranny of majorities. Surely it is worth something to feel that there are no priests, no popes, no parties, no governments, no kings, no gods, to whom your intellect can be compelled to pay a reluctant homage. Surely it is a joy to know that all the cruel ingenuity of bigotry can devise no prison, no dungeon, no cell in which for one instant to confine a thought; that ideas cannot be dislocated by racks, nor crushed in iron boots, nor burned with fire. Surely it is sublime to think that the brain is a castle, and that within its curious bastions and winding halls the soul, in spite of all worlds and all beings, is the supreme sovereign of itself.
Robert G. Ingersoll

It is a blessed thing that in every age someone has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions.
Robert G. Ingersoll

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts
Samuel Johnson

Everyone wants to be Cary Grant... I want to be Cary Grant.
Archibald Leech

No affectation of peculiarity can conceal a common place mind.
W. Somerset Maugham

And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; there in they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber stamps.
H.L. Mencken

A man and still more the woman, who can be accused either of doing 'what nobody does,' or of not doing 'what everybody does,' is...in peril of a commission de lunatico.
John Stuart Mill

There is one characteristic of the present direction of public opinion peculiarly calculated to make it intolerant of any marked demonstration of individuality. The general average of mankind are not only moderate in intellect, but also moderate in inclinations; they have no tastes or wishes strong enough to incline them to do anything unusual, and they consequently do not understand those who have, and class all such with the wild and intemperate who they are accustomed to look down upon.
John Stuart Mill

The test of maturity, for nations as well as individuals, is not the increase of power, but in the increase of self, self, self direction, and self transcendence. For in a mature society, man himself and not his machines or his organizations is the chief work of art.
Lewis Mumford

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.
Frederick Nietzsche

Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.
Charley Reese

In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.
Bertrand Russell

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