Optimism And Individualism of Thoreau, Gandhi, and Mandela

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The beliefs of Thoreau, Gandhi, and Mandela were centered around optimism and individualism. These leaders stood up for what they believed in, even if it went against the majority. Thoreau believed that disobedience was the foundation of liberty and that one had to step outside of the government to truly see the truth. Gandhi emphasized the importance of individuality and thinking for oneself, while Mandela saw himself as an ordinary man who became a leader due to extraordinary circumstances. All three leaders believed in the moral worth of the individual and that true freedom and change could only come from standing up for one’s beliefs. By embracing individualism and refusing to conform to the majority, one can truly appreciate and utilize the greatest gift of having the freedom to think and believe for oneself.

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Optimism and Individualism played a big role in the beliefs of Thoreau, Gandhi, and Mandela. All leaders stood up for what was right, even if it didn’t fit into the majorities belief. These men were brave for standing out from majority and try making America better place, even if it meant death or jail time. Thoreau stated, “Disobedience is the foundation of liberty’, meaning you have to stop being part of the majority in order earn true freedom. Thoreau also includes that one cannot see government for what it is when one is working within it.

One who looks outside the box, will then truly see the truth behind our dying world. Gandhi also believed in individualism, as well as Mandela. Gandhi stated “He who loses individuality, loses all”, meaning you have to think for yourself, you can’t follow what others believe, you’ll lose yourself and become just another person, rather than a individual. Mandela stated “I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who has become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances”, meaning that he isn’t any magical person, he is just an individual that stood up from what he believed in and to what the majority believes in.

Individualism is defined as the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. The greatest gift given to us as a unit, is the right to have our own thoughts and beliefs. The best way to show the appreciation for the gift that is given to us, is to use the gift. Stand up for what you believe in, not in what others want you to believe in. By being opened minded and becoming as one and not a majority, you’ll then truly have the sense Of freedom.

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Optimism And Individualism of Thoreau, Gandhi, and Mandela. (2018, Apr 10). Retrieved from


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