Are individualists assholes?

by design on December 12, 2010 · 10 comments

I haven’t spilled the beans to most people yet about our RTW plans but some do know: a couple of friends, a few neighbors, and even my parents.  My mom in particular tends to cringe at the topic when I bring it up.  Though she keeps tight-lipped, I know she just can’t understand why I’d want to give up my stable job, sell all my things, and throw myself out into the unknown.  She’s scared for me.  She wants me to have the kind of comfortable life she wanted for herself and any deviation from that is, well, kind of crazy. 

Maybe you’ve noticed from some of my previous posts that I need to feed myself daily doses of inspiration to remind myself what I’m working towards.  Recently, in need of a mid-afternoon lift, I typed the words individualist and nonconformity into the online thesaurus.  I was blown away by the synonyms that the thesaurus spit back at me.  Here are some of the worst:

  • Egocentric
  • Narcissistic
  • Selfish
  • Freak
  • Radical
  • Vainglorious

Freak?!?! Selfish?!?!  Is this how we really define people who choose to follow a different path?  It’s so dangerous to define folks that march to the beat of their own drummer as selfish and narcissistic.  Where would we be, as a society, a culture, a freaking species, if every one of us followed the same route in life?  Who would paint?  Make music?  Write poetry?  Start non-profits?  Count stars?  Where would the world be without all of us right-brainers around to dream big dreams? 


Here are some words I’m choosing to use instead:

  • Free-spirited
  • Conscious
  • Independent
  • Brave
  • Unique