According to Mill (1998), individuality is in direct opposition to complete submission of one’s interests and goals to the desires and customs of society. While it is important to follow societal norms, individuality must be maintained seeing that aping does not lead to innovations the way individuality does. Thus, leaders are people that rise to change something that is undesirably facing society at any given time. Given that leaders are thorough individualists, and they work to increase the happiness of society, individuality and happiness must be intertwined.
Even so, individuality is often believed to be connected with the selfish pursuit of individual desires as opposed to societal interests. After all, if everybody on our planet turned out to be an out and out individualist, there would be no use of societal norms that connect human beings as social animals. Societal control would be similarly unnecessary in that event, seeing that every child, teen, man and woman would insist on doing as he or she pleases without understanding the consequences – which may include harm done unto others.
Psychologists believe that happiness is an emotional experience of “feeling good (“The Definition of Happiness to Live By,” 2005).” Also according to them, happiness includes thoughts of satisfaction regarding one’s past and future. Moreover, happiness must include the emotional experience of “not feeling bad (“The Definition of Happiness to Live By”).” Indeed, all of these experiences are individual experiences. Without individuality, these experiences are meaningless.
Even if an individual were to forget his or her individuality – or his or her distinguishable personality – for a while as he or she spends most of the time with other people; the experiences of “feeling good” and “not feeling bad” would remain as personal experiences (“The Definition of Happiness to Live By”). Furthermore, it is possible that an individual that has forgotten his or her individuality for some time would feel extra good or feel bad about something related to the people he or she associates with. Hence, the person’s feelings would act as a reminder of his or her individuality.
People pursue their individual interests and goals to maximize their happiness. Some people are more adamant than the others about doing as they please. For others, their individual interests and goals must be the same as societal interests and goals. Such people believe that they would maximize their happiness by conforming to the society’s ideals. All the same, there is no way to tell whether the first as opposed to the second group of people is right. After all, people that are adamant about doing as they please may ultimately come up with innovations that society has never had the chance to enjoy. Likewise, the people who feel happy by accepting societal interests and goals as their individual interests and goals are trying to maximize the happiness of society too.
Still, there is no happiness without individuality, given that happiness is defined by individual emotional experiences of “feeling good” and “not feeling bad (“The Definition of Happiness to Live By”).” It is possible to be an out and out individualist and continue to respect societal norms to maximize one’s happiness. But, certain individualists would hurt society by following their own selfish interests.
Most probably they would also hurt themselves. Thus, the necessary relationship between happiness and individuality demands a balance and a respect. The individualist must take a balanced approach to pursuing his or her interests and goals to maximize happiness – bearing in mind that his or her pursuit of happiness should not turn into pain for anybody. Respect of society is crucial for individualism to bear its fruit. Hence, the essential relationship between happiness and individuality must be handled with care.
Mill, J. S. (1998). On Liberty. Retrieved Nov 25, 2007, from
The Definition of Happiness to Live By. (2005). Coaching to Happiness. Retrieved Nov 25,
2007, from http://www.coachingtohappiness.com/definition-of-happiness.html.
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The Relationship between Happiness and Individuality. (2017, Mar 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-relationship-between-happiness-and-individuality-essay