In today’s society, we take for granted the conveniences of daily life. These conveniences, be it a cellphone or simply a light bulb, were spurred into creation by someone’s individuality. If people strived to conform to a nationalistic ideal, would society conceive any ingenuity or creativity? Would we still have the technological advancements and conveniences that make our lives easier? Individuality is what leads and provides inspiration for innovation. It is what defines us as respective humans. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous statement, “imitation is suicide”, iterates this point, because nationalism is mass imitation. All of humanity’s accomplishments have not been from people conforming to others, but from one having confidence in their individual ideas and venturing into unchartered waters.
While individuality impacts innovation, the importance of individuality can also be seen in the well-being of society. One may argue that nationalism promotes security and stability; however, this is not the case. Over history, rises of nationalism have often caused the uprooting of morals and the corruption of power. It manifests the feeling of unethical supremacy, which has been the driving force in calamities such as the Holocaust, slavery, and demeaning stereotypes. Rather than frowning upon one that strays from societal norms, individuality promotes it. It allows one to voice their opinion, and to attract free-thinking followers to initiate change. A society or person without individuality is destined for corruption and ultimately, failure. Individuality is the driving force that influenced the great minds that have shaped our society over history and it is the force that negates discrimination and allows us to adapt to the changes the future presents us with.