You have heard the phrase – No Man is an Island – and like most of us, it sounded good to you. It was true as much as we thought about the many times we have tried to do something and then found we needed help.

However, once we analyze that a little more closely we can conclude that partially at least - it is not completely true!

The original phrase came from an English poet – John Donne, and the meaning was almost spiritual. No one would dare argue about that.

It was actually written in 1623 – and was written comparing people to countries and was meant to foster the inter
connectedness of all people; A lofty and worthy goal.

Here is the poem:

No man is an island,
entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were.
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s
or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

That is truly beautiful.

It is like many lofty sounding phrase and sayings that resonate so well with us, and yet when we examine them thoroughly as to the meaning for us – we have to look very closely, and wonder.

But you know when we really think about it – although the original intent was as good as gold – the truth is –at least in my opinion - just not entirely true.

Each of us in imbued with unique characteristics that belong to us – alone. When we try too hard to `fit in`, we lose some of that uniqueness.

And that uniqueness is - - - - `us`. We cannot afford to lose much. We must be an island to some extent, maybe to a considerable extent.

It seems that society has as its objective – to foster `sameness’. Think about it; in schools the `trouble maker` is often just a kid being himself/herself; just being a kid.

Think about how many personalities that could grow to real treasures are sacrificed in the desire for `conformity`.

Then we have the colleges and universities which are going absolutely nuts in trying so hard to be everything for everybody.

That is a journey which will surely lead to ultimate disaster. When an individual or institution, or any organization of any kind attempts to be everything to anybody, it winds up being nothing to anyone.

You would think that our learned intelligentsia would somehow see that, but apparently they don’t.

Where does that leave the individual? Where does that leave you and me?

It seems that there are two schools of thought:

1. We are labeled as trouble makers or non-conformists, and shunned, or
2. We are honored and sought after for our uniqueness and personality.

It seems that the answer may lie in the partial abandonment of the concept `No man is an island` and modify that a bit.

How about - `No Man is an Island` in many endeavors that call for a joint effort – be it physical o r a community of like- minded individuals serving a common cause or goal.

Than how about adopting as an addendum: A man or woman is definitely needs to be an island when safekeeping his/her ideals, his/her personality uniqueness, his/her secret goals and objectives – and basically all the uniqueness that makes him/her –who he/she is?
Those features are his/her island!
And yet, conform we must in many situations. The trick is to balance out the necessary conformity - and our uniqueness. In actuality, those traits that we see often (below) are really just attempts to conform to other groups.
• Bizarre behavior
• Bizarre dress
• Bizarre speech
• Bizarre body ornamentation

Let’s face it – dressing and/or acting like a character out of a horror movie, or comic book is not an expression of uniqueness. It is just weird.

So, we can and must take our place in society. But, equally important is our individuality.

Is it that difficult to maintain a balance? No, I don’t think so. The balance is the key, and it is that balance which we must master.

Points to Ponder

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter doesn’t mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch

Note: Sounds great, but apply some moderation!
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

A catchy expression, but oh how true!
Are we an isolated island, or are we an island that has some ports and docks, welcoming visitors?

Last thought – I really like this one!


Author's Bio: 

wrote these books because I have seen so many Self-Motivation type books that seemed to be impossible to actually relate to, and from which an individual could actually benefit.

It seemed that they all resulted in a thunder striking event experienced by some individual who was having a difficult time, and by gosh after that, everything went great. Their Self Respect went through the roof, and out of nowhere, financial windfalls happened with regularity.

Then, all of a sudden, he or she became a CEO of some international company, and a gorgeous spouse appeared on the scene, and everybody lived happily after – forever!

Talk about self-development and self growth. This was it in spades!

But dang, it just doesn’t work like that – at least to no one I ever knew or witnessed.

From my experience, it was a gradual awareness of fully recognizing the gifts that we have and really using them - and appreciating them.