Individuality: Discovering Your Unique Voice

In the context of history, individuality, recognizing the unique value of each person, is a relatively new phenomenon. The first institutionalized laws guaranteeing human individual rights are just several centuries old. Before that autocrats ruled, with no or little regard for any individual interests. The ruler dictated what was right for the masses, and that was that. As strange as it may sound to us today, the concept of private space, personal interests (let alone personal preferences and favorites on smart phones…) simply did not exist. In the latter half of the last millennium, coined by some as the Me Millennium, the self emerged. And with it was unleashed a fury of individual expression, to the point that some lament its excess, spilling over into narcissism and selfishness without bounds. Once the individual is out of the bag how do we stop it from total self-absorption, consuming everything in its path? Have we replaced blind obedience to an outside authority with blind obedience to our own most base impulses – essentially replacing one form of slave worship for another? Where does individuality end and co-existence begin? How can we balance individuality and love of another? In a world of fierce individuality where is there room for discipline, cooperation, obedience and basic respect for each other?
This really is a question of the meaning of the “self.” Is the self a selfish, self-absorbed entity, dedicated solely to its own survival above all (hence a world defined by survival of the fittest). Or is the self something else?
Please join Rabbi Jacobson in this Pekudei-Adar workshop and learn how to uncover your unique voice, and how your individuality does not compromise your love for others. Discover that quite the contrary: true and healthy individuality just like true and healthy love is harmony within diversity — two people uniting while retaining the integrity of each self.

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