rant: The Fight for Individualism: It’s Very Popular


I have to say this. 

There seems to be an overwhelming trend for people to think that just they are the spawning salmon; that they are going against the grain. The Independents. The I am MySelf People. The Just Be You People. 

I get this. I accept this. I so accept this that it’s one of the greatest paradoxes of all time! 

As Lily Tomlin said, “We’re all alone in this together.”

Occupy Wall Street: 50k people crowding a park in NYC think they’re independent. 

Everyone comes into this planet the same way.

Have you ever had a great day? So have I. I guess that means you’re not alone anymore. 
Have you ever had a regret? So have I. I guess that means you’re not alone anymore. 

Have you ever gotten sick?  So have I. I guess that means you’re not alone anymore. 
Have you ever had a good idea? So have I. I guess that means you’re not alone anymore. 

There are really only a few truly independent thinkers, truly independent avatars in all of humanity’s Universal experience.

Jesus. No, I’m not saying “Jesus” as if I’m exasperated.  Jesus is one.  

Who else…  Einstein. No, I’m not saying “Einstein” ironically as though you’re not smart enough. He’s another. 

Moses, God, Newton, Galileo…  Mitch Snyder (the hunger strike activist). Mother Theresa (but not really because she followed the teachings of Jesus…).

They were independents. For awhile, and then they amassed followers. So then what? Are they truly independents anymore? Truly revolutionaries? 

If you want to be truly Your Own Guy, truly Independent: get off the internet. Lose the cell phone. Stop taking pictures of yourself and posting them online. Stop logging your time anywhere and uploading it to Facebook. Stop leaving a trail for people to follow you! You’re so alone on Facebook that there are 800+ million of you. 

Stop Trying To Connect with people and then say you’re your Own Guy! 

Gimme a break.  

Because if you did this, then people wouldn’t follow you and you’d be all alone. Eureka! There it is! Go ahead. Disagree with me… you wouldn’t be the only one. 


And everyone leaves this planet the same way.

I loved this: one day I was running with my dog. Some kids (who clearly can’t spell) spray painted this on the asphalt under the trees: “We are the Lone Woves” — first, Woves, you missed your L. Secondly, “we” and “lone” contradict. But they’re kids. The point is, there are no truly lone wolves. We know this because if they were alone, they wouldn’t survive. No one, no one is alone; we might feel that way, but honestly: you wouldn’t like it. Try it. Go ahead: go off the grid, drink water from a stream, kill for your meals, rub two sticks together and live in a cave. 

I bet you’ll find someone else there too.  

We are all connected. Gah! I didn’t want to go all existential today. I didn’t want to Be That Person again who preaches and then goes back to my hole of quiet where it’s just me and my thoughts. But it’s so funny to me that people think, I mean, actually beLIEVE they are alone, loners, rogue, independent. They’re not! 

I know I’m not alone in my thinking. 

The thing is: if you stick out constantly like a sore thumb rather than just a thumb, maybe you’re just sore. And you’re the one who’s resisting.

Resist urge to preach. Resist urge to preach. Resist urge to preach. 

Ok, here are some Other Independents: 

The ugly ones: Hilter. Stalin. The Unabomber. Osama bin Laden. 

Sheesh. Talk about sore thumbs. Ouch.

Um. I’m repeating myself: they were independents. For awhile, and then they amassed followers. So then what? Are they truly independents anymore? Truly revolutionaries? 

If you want to be really Independent: go off the grid. Live off the land. Don’t work for money. Do good anonymously. Be one of Those People: the ones who do great things expecting NOTHING in return. 

I have to say, it’s all bullshit. All this “I am my own guy!” stuff because at the core of humanity, we want to be heard, we want to get along, we want to have friendships and relationships. We want SO DESPERATELY to connect. If we didn’t we wouldn’t have sex and procreate. We wouldn’t live where other people are. We wouldn’t say “Hi!” It’s simply not just a matter of evolution. It’s a matter of relation.

But then those “we our own guy” people are exclusionists: “you can be with us but you have to agree with us. If you disagree, you’re not one of us; you’re alone.” 

Ok.  But then aren’t you…? My head hurts. 

To me, all those people who want to Be Their Own Person are cool, until what they say about YOUR independent thought is somehow offensive. Once you challenge their “gone against (really with) the grain” mentality, it’s no longer cool. Good luck trying to connect with those guys; the ones you oppose because guess what?: your mentality is against Their (collective) mentality. 

I hate to break it to all the so-called independent thinkers out there: There are no “I” people; sooner or later, you’re gonna find another who agrees with you. And then what happens… don’t look, but you’ve become a “we.”

Just quit lying to yourselves and accept the fact that you’re part of a bigger connection. It’s your ego that thinks it’s so revolutionary, but your id that wants to belong. Sometimes. Go with the flow… we all do eventually. 

It’s OK. Really.

Bluto was right. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? 

The greatest irony of all of this is that some of the greatest individuals: Jesus, Moses, Galileo, Einstein were all about teaching people that we are together. Divided we fall. 

Who’s with me? 

Thank you. 

About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

2 responses »

  1. I like it. I'm too tired to be more insightful, but this is a really good, down-to-earth-not-preachy-or-condescending thought. Good start to my day.cb

  2. CB! thank you! no matter how hard we think we're alone or don't fit in or don't want to fit in or thinking fitting in is for the birds, we're not the only one. there's always, ALWAYS someone who can relate. no matter how happy or unhappy our state. that's a good thing! 🙂 -molly

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