Man becomes virtually an automaton in the loss of his individuality and responsibility. He is the harp of a thousand strings played upon by a divine hand, but not a man!
JOHN GRIER HIBBEN, The Problems of Philosophy
It's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.
DOLLY PARTON, attributed, How Dolly Parton Saved My Life
We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other's opposite and complement.
HERMANN HESSE, Narcissus and Goldmund
Individuality is a step in advance of Genius.
JAMES LOGAN GORDON, I, Myself
The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.
SAUL ALINSKY, prologue, Rules for Radicals
Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving to the citizen as much freedom of action and of being as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, The American Democrat
If you are different from the rest of the flock, they bite you.
VINCENT O'SULLIVAN, The Next Room
I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations -- past and present -- are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millenia.
ERIC HOFFER, Reflections on the Human Condition
Taking into account the public's regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent upon you not to fit in.
JANEANE GAROFALO, Feel This Book
Bring something incomprehensible into the world!
GILLES DELEUZE, Thousand Plateaus
Individuality is unaccountable surplus.
THOMAS C. HELLER, Reconstructing Individualism
More and more, when faced with the world of men, the only reaction is one of individualism. Man alone is an end unto himself. Everything one tries to do for the common good ends in failure.
ALBERT CAMUS, Notebooks 1935-1942
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.
JOHN STUART MILL, On Liberty and Other Essays
Each man must have his "I"; it is more necessary to him than bread; and if he does not find scope for it within the existing institutions he will be likely to make trouble.
CHARLES HORTON COOLEY, Human Nature and the Social Order
The measure of individuality is the depth and breadth of true relation. I am an individual not as far as I am apart from, but as far as I am a part of other men.
PAULINE GRAHAM, Mary Parker Follett: Prophet of Management
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
ANAIS NIN, The Diary of Anais Nin
Individuality is that which you bring into the world.
My lines all curve. I tend to connect the wrong dots.
DAVID LEVITHAN, Boy Meets Boy
Individuality is the expression of the uniqueness of every soul and the sublime manifestation of its evolution.
AVIKAL COSTANTINO, Without a Mask
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-Reliance and Other Essays
It kills me how these days everyone has clinical justification for their strangeness.
We are flawed creatures, all of us. Some of us think that means we should fix our flaws. But get rid of my flaws and there would be no one left.
SARAH VOWELL, Take the Cannoli
The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even if you will eccentricity. That is, something that can't be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn't be happy with.
JOSEPH BRODSKY, Less Than One: Selected Essays
The trouble with the sacred individual is that he has no significance, except as he can acquire it from others, from the social whole.
BERNARD DEVOTO, Harper's, May 1941
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
JOHN STUART MILL, On Liberty
The definition of the individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million.
ARTHUR KOESTLER, Darkness at Noon
I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals and I loathe humanity for its failure to live up to these possibilities.
AYN RAND, publicity form, 1936
Losing faith in your own singularity is the start of wisdom, I suppose; also the first announcement of death.
Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life's bittersweet route.
TOM ROBBINS, Jitterbug Perfume
I'm an oddity of one, my strangeness too complicated to explain or share.
LIBBA BRAY, A Great and Terrible Beauty
The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.
ALBERT EINSTEIN, Ideas and Opinions