I think part of the problem in America [and in Western cultures in general] is this idea of “The Maverick”—we romanticize those who follow some “inner voice” and shrug off all the dissenters and naysayers and those who say they’re wrong, and that it can’t be done … “Mavericks” don’t care what anyone thinks; they drop out of college or otherwise bypass the rat race, take huge risks in order to forge their own paths through life, and subsequently reach some pinnacle of success and/or wealth that commands respect and admiration.
Obvious examples would be Bill Gates … Steve Jobs … Mark Zuckerberg … Elon Musk … that sorta thing; but I would also include celebrity culture in general—how, in a sense, being popular entails being noticeably different than everyone else, and confident in that difference somehow, in order to be seen as more than just another one of the teeming masses.
What’s problematic is that all the while we’re being told that being confident in ourselves is what matters—”believe in who you are, no matter what they say,” “don’t let anyone tell you’re wrong when you know inside that you’re right”—we’re also being given the message that if we believe in things that others would take offense to, or would disagree with, that shouldn’t change how strongly we believe in those things anyway.
In other words, the very people who believe in themselves SO MUCH that they can somehow reach some measure of success/wealth despite all those who would tell them they can’t or won’t, are going to be those who are able to hold on strongly to their views on all sorts of topics, even if those things happen to be “inappropriate” or politically incorrect” or even “illegal.”
The obvious example would be current dipshit-in-chief Donald Trump, who somehow garners millions of votes from actual human beings simply because he seems to believe so intensely in viewpoints that are (or would have been thought of, once upon a time) unconventional and/or downright offensive.
Another way of putting it would be to say that, many of the people who are unique or individualistic enough to be raised above the general consciousness somehow and thereby admired and esteemed, are those who also happen to have rather reprehensible views on various things that we also accept by default, even while we rail against that very sort of behavior and attempt to promote kindness and goodness to all.
Other than Trump, examples might include Kanye, the entire GOP and its platform, “gangsta rap culture,” Elizabeth Holmes, etc.
I guess my point is that, if we’re going to celebrate “going with our guts,” believing in ourselves, making it despite the odds, and never letting anyone doubt us, it’s gonna be hard to also at the same time be like, well actually, there IS a limit to believing in yourself—cause if you believe certain things, you ARE wrong, and you SHOULD stop. Just stop THAT part though … keep believing in the parts that OTHER people might say you’re wrong about.
You know what I mean?