The Power of One
Over the course of human history, there have been many instances where one has stood up against society for what he or she believed was right. With that, comes sacrifice. There will always be a group that will support the ideas presented, but there will also be the rest of society that will have strong arguments in opposition. Everyone was created to think differently to give rise to diversity in our world. Why should anyone feel uncomfortable when sharing his or her thoughts and beliefs with society, just because they may not be the popular opinion? Ralph Waldo Emerson, author of Self-Reliance, says, “To believe our own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men - that is genius.” A single person’s ideas could be the catalyst for the next step towards a positive development in society. Individuals need to confidently speak up for what they believe in, because the status quo of society is not always correct. We, as people, must consider Emerson’s words, and recognize the importance of individualism and how great an impact one can make by simply trusting in oneself. In 1984, a fatal situation arose in Utah that was only put to rest after individuals began to complain. This situation was nuclear testing. The radiation from the testing was increasing breast cancer in the surrounding area. At the time, the people were unaware of the effects of radiation, however they noticed that breast cancer was rapidly increasing among their fellow townspeople. After some time, people began to link the two together and questioned whether nuclear testing might have an effect on the growth of cancer. Although they had no proof, they began to believe this. Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Clan of One-Breasted Women, described their thoughts on the matter as: “The price of obedience has become too high ... fear and inability to question authority... ultimately killed rural communities.” Though these testings were...
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