The Importance of Self Expression in a Community

//EMMA WRIGHT//

In a world where opinion relies on the hierarchy of individual social importance, self-expression seems quite the daunting feat.

An ignored attempt at speaking one’s mind can be more motivationally restrictive than failure.

This is because the significance of self is seldom impactful without the backing of a group of people in support of that opinion.

While there is no complete social assurance, the broader the audience a voice reaches, the more influential that voice can be.

Then, what about the outcasts?

What about the lonely, opinionated intellectuals? For all people there awaits the chance to initiate change. Because, even in solitude, there is a motivation to create impact; the unparalleled beauty of human interaction is that one is limited only to what is thought but not heard and what is said but not listened to.

If an individual finds it in him or herself to speak, the job of an intimate community is to listen. When this ideal is achieved, a balanced and inclusive sentiment can potentially be fulfilled.

There’s a plethora of methods that can ease a person into communal participation.

“People need to express themselves in a way that, at some level, is creative,” English teacher Staci Stech said.

This creativity can be channeled through a limitless variety of mediums. “Fashion is a good way [to express yourself] and you can [also] express yourself through art,” senior Lauren Yu said.

In regards to expression, the goal is to start anywhere and end somewhere. Options can always be narrowed down in due time, but one must initiate Stech’s idea of creative expression in order to truly begin their personal movement towards community-based change.

One may always begin anew — at least, in regards to hobbies — but not all people do. This arises the question: Why? Ultimately we reach out in search of fulfillment, but what makes this fulfillment worth so much trouble is a considerable concept.

“I think fulfillment has to do with contributing to other people,” Stech said. “In the course of my life, the times where I’ve had the most fulfillment, I have been teaching.”

While this approach is not universal, such ideals provide motivation for many.

“[Fulfillment] is different for everyone,” Yu said, and how an individual finds his or her own is up to their morality.

Whether such a thing comes from a nature as inherently giving as Stech’s or another source, some form of motivation is essential in the expression of self.

Once the ball is rolling and the actions have played out, there comes the moment of truth. When an individual impacts a society — and said society pushes an inverted influence right back — reward begins to set in.

Impacting a community — especially while “operating out of love and kindness,” according to Stech — turns back around and reflects back onto the actions that caused change in the first place. So, if a person positively alters a community, that same community can react “by supporting and providing opportunities for people,” Stech said.

When one can recognize the impact that is made it enables them to reach a reflective balance, celebrate, alter, and grow simultaneously.

It is all about the mesh of togetherness and individuality. “When you look at a community, it’s a symbiotic relationship of individuals as a whole, but you have to be supported by the group,” Stech said.

The give and take of social effort and acceptance is a gradual, but ultimately rewarding process. Take it one step at a time. “Speak up in class. Ask questions. Just getting familiar with talking in the presence of other people slowly builds up a bridge,” Yu said.

The bridge connects one person’s thought to another’s action, a contribution essential for the betterment of society.

“You can never get better, or get closer to what you want, if you don’t take a chance,” Stech said.

So trudge forward, past yourself, and toward a communal fulfillment. Such interpersonal and interpersonal balance can be achieved.

As Stech said, “you’ve just got to take a little step.”

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