Being part of an ever changing world can, and is, both brilliant and scary. Societies are full of diverse people and it is most inspiring to see this delicate and dynamic reality unfold. But, how far can one person go on their own? Or better yet, how much can a team hold an individual back?
People of all ages and backgrounds struggle to grow, to improve, to create, to inspire and to be inspired in return. As a young, aspiring entrepreneur, I look around and see a disorganised society with contradicting messages and indecisive strategies. This has urged me to share my thoughts on the matter, as I am greatly amazed by both – the power of individualism as a free spirit and the power of joint efforts as a society.
In our quest to grow better, who do we turn to for guidance and inspiration?
The ancient Greek system valued the power of society but, in my opinion, valued most the potential of a human being, leaving people free to think, create and express their interests. It is no wonder that such a mentality sculpted so many brilliant personalities in science and philosophy, empowering the human race to progress and grow.
The Western system orbits around the “initiative of the one”, in a way implying that the individuals who want to, are free to create. This “one” gets the skill and builds networks with more “ones” in order to bring change and growth through personal achievement.
Looking to Asian culture – through my few trips and my Asian friends so far – I have noticed (or should I say I have felt!) that their philosophy is more “group-centred”. The foundations of their life approach are solidly built on the power of the group and the benefits that the group creates and enjoys.
For them, it is “we” as opposed to “I”, “us” as opposed to “me”.
This has made me think – who empowers who in our constant effort for growth and evolution?
What should we teach children and young people to focus on and give priority to?
Is there a clash of social philosophies? And if so, how are we going to co-grow if we do not have a common ground? Is there a common ground to be found and, most importantly, do we need a common ground?
To my mind, keeping the intellectual freedom that derives from the world of Aristotle and Plato, and combining them with the team spirit of the East could lead to a well balanced approach, one that empowers individuals to rise up to their targets and expectations through society and vice versa.
But, my personal opinion aside, I believe the question remains.
Is it a strong and well-networked society that raises exceptional individuals who will, in turn, grow and act for the benefit of the very same society that brought them up? Or is it a free and liberated individual the source of social empowerment?
Who comes first? Empowered “me” for “us”, or empowered “us” for “me”?