Courage And Individuality
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The courage of individuality, realized in experience, is master of all life's relations. The individualizing self can entertain the fear-feeling in presence of no crowd or mob. Asserting its own throne and kingdom in the law of interest-balance, it neither yields its existence nor calls for the surrender of other individualities. It never breeds fear in any human with whom it stands in relation, nor does it abate its courage in the maintaining of its own identity. This is the ideal. Here is the goal of our seemingly aimless digression: the courage of individuality realized in spite of opposition, by reason of opposition, in every relation of life. That ideal goal may thus be stated:
The royalty of the human
The forces which obscure and prevent this goal are seen, in part, in the various relations of life. Some of these relations concern a number of people grouped together, while other relations concern one or two individuals only.
The significant thing, now, is this: the man in relation with the crowd is merely an individual (in the common sense of the word), as are those who confront him merely individuals, and whether one confront many or one, nothing is there save individuality, in its common form, so that the only salvation of any situation in life's relations is individualization at the human best.
We now proceed to ask: What is to be understood by the "human individual"? And what are his privileges, rights and duties?