….it just might exist


It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

For many people that read Emerson, his pleas for nonconformity (i.e. “refusal to conform to a prevailing rule or practice”) fall on deaf ears. The truth is that most people do not see themselves as conformists; they see themselves as real, authentic agents of free will, doing what they please, marching to the beat of their own drum. Their truth, however, is not reality.

For this blog post, I want you to conduct a little social media research and engage in a little self-examination.

For the social media, it doesn’t matter where you go (e,g, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter), I simply want you to watch or read with one question in mind: “Where is the independence of solitude?” (i.e. Where is the willingness to go out there alone and truly be authentic?) If you see that independence, write about what makes it nonconformist behavior; if you don’t, write about the conformity you see. Whatever you find – whatever you chose to write about – post an image or video or excerpt along with your answer.

For the self-examination part of this post, I want you to step outside of yourself for a second and write about that “independence of solitude” (or lack thereof) in your own life. Where do you feel truly free from the social expectations of the world? Or where do you see yourself conforming and following the pack? Be honest, be specific, be yourself!

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