Thursday, June 19, 2003

the myth of the individual

if you stop and think about it, you are really not unique. many, if not most of the things that you do, many, many other people do, too. I am not saying that you do not have worth. I just mean that because we are social beings, much of what we do, think, believe, etc., is not unique to us -- to "me."

If you were to study one person, in-depth, you would be able to get a pretty good idea of how other people (within a similar culture) are going to be. this is not to support the idea of stereotypes -- i am not saying that there is anything predictive about any of this, more observational. someone might do something fairly idiosyncratically, but the essence of what it is that s/he does is, in all likelihood, fairly common.

i used to work with individuals that fit the profile of "addicts." much of their behavior was considered "extreme" compared to non-addicts (not stating a "truth," more of a "flavor"). In that extreme behavior however, was the essence of other behaviors that are not considered to be extreme. the reason that they are considered extreme behavior implies that there is other, similar behavior that is NOT extreme. robbing a store to buy crack is at the extreme end of a contiuum that includes at the other end, taking someone's french (screw freedom) fry without asking.

No comments: