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The Most Rugged Individualist Still Has Only Two Hands

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by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

Our survival and success as a species are the result of being social, and not by acting only to further our own self-interests. That lesson has gotten lost in recent times. The idea that we all act in our own self-interest will somehow serve our collective benefit is simply wrong. We should think for ourselves, yes, but act with consideration towards the common good.

We are nothing if not social beings. This may sound a bit more controversial than it is, but even our most intimate view of ourselves, of who we are as a person, is a composite of our interactions with others, beginning with our parents. We are literally nothing if we are not social, and we can only survive in community with others.

The high value we place on individualism today is a message of disunity that degrades our greatest survival strengths. The most rugged individualists still have only two hands. A better balance would be one hand for yourself and one for all others.Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 10.07.58 AM



  1. avwalters says:

    Can I keep the dominant hand for me?

  2. Brian says:

    A truly mindblowing question. I’ll have to think on that awhile. 🙂

  3. TamrahJo says:

    Yup – You said outloud what has been glossed over/forgotten for centuries and is built into the American Myth of the ‘self-made’ so and so – – good luck with this post going viral in anyway other than folks ‘denigrating/criticising’ it – for there have been a slew of essays, posts, online blogs saying the same thing for years – and….still….does….not…compute…for…most…..NOR does it ‘line up and support’ the current story line for the systems that are in place and what attributes are lauded for ‘success’ – for generation after generation – sigh – but I LIKED this post!!!! And, kudos for posting it – I await to see if you somehow did it in a way, where many people ‘get it” – LOL – Not that I question you, your writing style or anything else, but you must know, I hold out little hope – cuz ya know – it ain’t ‘quick, easy, sexy, money/success generator’ and thus, will be blown right on by,, by many and those who read/like? Um, yeah – ‘preaching to the choir’ operations – they already get it and are glad to see someone else, saying once more/taking a stab at it…. 😀

  4. Jane Boschen says:

    Good Morning Brian,

    As usual you always know the right words.

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