Individual vs Community – What does it take?

Preliminary Questions: How can an individual manage integrity and purse their own personal goals while contributing to society/community? What does it take to be an individual that stands out from the community?

Related Questions:What does it take to be part of a community? Individuals make up the community but what determines an individual to be part of the community? Actually, what determines a community? These questions signify the importance of individual vs community and how each component is viewed from external circumstances. Despite the fact that individuals do create the community, what really is essential is what makes an individual stand out from the rest of the society.

In the United States, we raise our self esteem from individualism and starting a unwavering spirit that collects significant values. However, people view the balance of individualism and society quite differently. The definition of community is modified in the twenty first century. It now means a group that consists of similar minded individuals that share a common passion, interest or idea. These people have different skills and cooperate with each other to achieve a certain goal. Referring to chapter 6 of the Language composition book, Martin Luther King was the one individual that stood out from the rest of the negro community. He facilitated the ideologies of African American freedom and established peace for his people in the United States. But what really caught my attention was that Martin Luther King  was the only individual to fully demonstrate and lead a group for unification and concord neutrality. Why was it that Luther King was the only African American to lead his people and what if someone else did the same things that King did. This is a pure example of how an individual stands above the rest of the community. Dr. Martin Luther King not only contributed to his society, but maintained his own integrity in order to obtain peace and achieve his personal goals. (Chapter 6 Letter from Birmingham Jail”  pg 280) 

For example, the sport of American football is not only a “game of inches” but also a game of cooperative teamwork and self pride. For instance, the recent NFL super bowl champions New England Patriots play the game systematically and efficiently. Football involves deep cooperation with the coaches and players in order to set a game plan for the upcoming games. In New England, the game plan is simple. Film, practice, walk through, examine certain players, work on strength and weaknesses and lastly mental set up. This year, the Patriots have lost key members to their offense such as Julian Edelmen and Rob Gronkowski who is week to week with a knee injury. Coach Bill Bellichick signs free agents players who are only suitable to their team system not the players who yearn for an opportunity. In correlation to how individuals make up the community, in this instance, it is how the player makes up the team. Out of any football team in the National Football League, the New England Patriots are notable to making no name players become household names. For example, Dion Lewis who was a practice squad member for the Eagles. Football players make up the team. And teams make up a league.  But in this case, players can only be valuable in terms of ability to play at a high level if that specific player ends up in a team that offers a system best suitable to them. Moreover, Dion Lewis not only made himself a distinguished NFL player but also contributed to his team by playing the running back position as a “dual threat” and was a “safety blanket” to Tom Brady. Dion Lewis wanted to be the “go to” guy for Brady and it is safe to say that he has accomplished that feat and exceeded every NFL fans expectations. The point is that each member in a society or a team has a role, and that specific job functions to help/contribute to their respective society. A policeman, teacher, chemist, doctor, President, Mayor, Manager are entitled to their position to help their communities. Not only do they help their communities, but also make themselves reputable thus answering the question – How can an individual manage integrity and purse their own personal goals while contributing to society/community? (The mystery of Dion LewisBleacher Report and personal knowledge as a source)

An individual stands out from the rest of the community by “doing the impossible” or achieving success at a new level. For instance, the recently retired Derek Jeter who played for the New York Yankees, was the mere face of Major League Baseball. He won 5 world series with his team and became the league’s “captain” after demonstrating leadership, determination and the will to win. This is one of the reasons why Jeter was the cornerstone not only for the organization but also for the league. He was portrayed as the face of baseball due to his accomplishments that opened eyes of MLB fans, players and teams. He was the vehicle to the league’s success which ultimately sustained the reputation of both the organization and associations among baseball. (Personal Knowledge)

But from a literature standpoint, the “Scarlet Letter” shows how an individual could stand out from a community by depicting the negative circumstances rather than positive contributions to a specific society. In the beginning of the story, we the readers learn that Hester was publicly shamed and forced by the community of American age Boston to wear a badge (scarlet letter) that symbolizes Hester to be an adulterer. This was how Hester “stood out” from the community but from a negative reference. Though she was not physically imprisoned in jail, she was mentally unstable after reminding herself that people in fact do hate her for her illegal actions. She would have to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to remove the scarlet letter and continue a normal life with her daughter Pearl. However, she realizes that running away and starting a new life would basically symbolize that the society has power over her and that Hester’s individualism is destroyed. “But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,—so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,—was that Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom. It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself.” (Scarlet Letter Chapter 2) 

In conclusion, whether an individual is primed to lead or represent the majority of the community, the relationship between both components are intertwined and are related to one another. The examples of Martin Luther King, Dion Lewis and his New England Patriots systematic approach to the game of football, Derek Jeter, and the Scarlet Letter all depict and answer the question – “what makes an individual stand out from the rest of the community.” The supplementary question – “How can an individual manage integrity and purse their own personal goals while contributing to society/community?” was a parallel inquiry that relates to how an individual/player can make themselves notable from the rest of the group/team/society. There is a positive correlation to how a person/player can make themselves stand out from the rest however negative circumstances demonstrated in the Scarlet Letter example shows that precedent actions often lead to influential depictions on an character, in this case, Hester. Consequently, it is very possible to maintain ones self integrity and composure while contributing to their respected group, society or team.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s