When men are born, their habitat is already defined. Eventually, they will adapt to it, i.e., they acquire the required consistency that will help them to overcome the obstacles that life has. This way, mankind achieves such intrinsic nature that defines a concrete existence in time and space, further arriving to a propensity to act according to its own discretion, and not in concert with the community, becoming isolated and selfish in affections, interests, studies, and other dimensions. Finally, men become full of themselves, forfeiting any other purposes.

Individualism, Attempts At Philosophying

Thus, since the VIII century, individualism constituted a topic of controversy. Several centuries later, St. Thomas Aquinas says that the principle of individualization is, in sensible things, “matter”, while for Duns Scotus it’s only a philosophical form that he calls haecceitas, i.e., this, here, and that reduce to the ultimate essential reality of each individual, i.e., particularly distinguishable from one class, collection or series, indivisible, impossible to separate in parts without altering its character, without stopping being a mere being. Therefore, at least, the individual contains two principles: its nature and its individual entity, elements that exist only by a formal distinction, not by factual reality.

The individual is a real being, unlike its species, which is ideal. The problem that creates this concept derives from the relationship essence-existence, an understanding of the nature of the singular, and so further. With this value, the problem of individualism comprises the fields of sociology, psychology, and politics, invading existentialism.

Self-centered people creates a harmful environment, which typically leads to irreversible damage. Because society has been imbued with these people’s actions, it has been steadily adapting to such individualistic behavior, which in turn leads to societies being directed by monopolies and messianic pseudo-leaders. Often, development of such societies depends on unilateral theories, normally based on confrontation, created by the diversity of characters and conceptualizations.

Hence, divisions in society emanate:

  1. Those who bid to maintain the positions they have achieved at the expense of imposing his theories regardless of whether such theories harm others.
  2. Those living opposed to the previous individuals, which creates a constant anxiety within societies, causing them to take different directions and preventing, in most cases, the desired outcome: development. Moreover, false structures and platforms are created because of this tension.
  3. Further, we have those who do not agree with the previous cases, and which are only waiting for a clear winner in order to go over to the winner’s group.
  4. Finally, individuals living their daily lives without realizing all the wrappers that define society. From the moral standpoint, we may argue that people in this group are somewhat confused.

Particularly, I think that one way to help self-centered people is to indicate them all the possibilities for sharing that life offers. Sharing is necessary for their subsistence and growth. Don’t give them the bread or the fish, but teach them how to plough and how to fish. Teachers are the best for doing this. They will understand that we are all individuals and, although with different characters, we all have always a single and wonderful purpose: life.