The western world is known for its individualism, and though encouraged and culturally celebrated, it's often also compared to the eastern culture's collective, which is often considered 'better' and more helpful than the selfish individual of the west.
I disagree with such simple distinctions.
A collective mentality brings heartache and mental health issues aplenty.
It's not the collectiveness or the individualism that's the problem, it's the personal values that can cause hurt.
Individualism doesn't translate into egocentric or selfish.
You can put yourself first, you can focus largely on yourself, but part of this self could be to give to charity, volunteer, be kind, spread compassion and try to improve one's community.
Thinking of others first, putting the collective ahead of yourself can cause depression, anxiety, fear of failing one's tribe and lead to suicide to avoid disgrace or losing face, to erase any sense of self, shutting down individual creativity and the thinking needed to think outside of the box to invent new ways of living.
There are cultural norms but there is also individual responsibility for how you choose to show up in this world and live your best life.
Until next time, stay safe - and sane - and make kind choices.
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.