Communal Individualism

The suffix “ism” additionally provides a specific meaning of a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy. The word also annotates a collective allegorical implication on the ideology of self-reliance, which can be understood as a core value of who we are as a social member. 

With the senses, do you agree with the following formula of the collective American value?                                  

Americanism = individualism 

Are we as Americans identified as the intrinsic stance of individualism? I am independent. I am self-reliant. I am unique. Are these phrases representing the principle of individualism? 

Going deeper into the meaning of secular individualism is not my intention here. There is actually no “secular individualism,” because it is another form of egoism or selfishness. The true individualism finds its root in the scriptural principle.

You are uniquely created in the image of God.
You find your true value in the Lord. 
You, as a member of society, use your gifts and talents for the people who are in need. 

Martin Luther found this individual value in the scripture, Romans 1:7 and proclaimed in his book On Christian Freedom (1520),  “A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.”

We as an individual person find our true self in the Lord and use our value to serve others. This is true individualism. 

Today, we must exercise the individualism within us. Think about how your actions greatly influence others. You as an independent person can thoughtfully feel what others are going through and share your ideas and thoughts on how we can live together. 

We should not detach ourselves from those who suffer from the virus in the major cities. We lost uncountable precious lives in the last three months. We, the uniquely created beings in the image of God, should participate in the struggles of those people with our humbled attitudes in observing all the safe guidelines to protect ourselves and others. This is the true individualism: you and me living together.


​Rediscovering the value
John 4:23 “But the hour comes, and is now 

One of the high demanded items on online is a hair clipper and its related items, such as oil for the clipper blade and cape. Since the stay-at home order has been implemented, most of the non-essential shops have been closed including barber shops and hair salons. Parents see that their kids’ hairs are becoming like a sasquatch on a mountain. So they try their luck to give a stylish hair cut to their children or even themselves. 

Globally, nasopharyngeal swabs have been significantly in short supply since March. They are needed effectively to sample mucus in the nasopharynx in order to test COVID-19. Experts have recently estimated that the U.S. needs to more than triple the number of daily swabs. 

Another item that is surprisingly chasing after hair clippers is backing products such as flour and yeast. Why? Since people spend most of their times at home, many people transform into self-quarantine bakers. A major TV channel posted an article “Why everyone’s suddenly breaking bread.” In that article, Maddalena Borsato, a researcher in the philosophy of bread at Turin's University of Gastronomic Sciences, says, “It's funny because only one month ago, everyone was on a gluten-free diet. Now, suddenly everyone is a baker," 

Who would have ever imaged that those products would be valuable today? 

In 1815, in his history novel, Guy Mannering, Sir Walter Scott wrote, “The hours’ come, and the man” It means, in a specific time, a specific person would have an opportunity and becomes a hero. 

You are the light of the world. The nature of the light exerts its best ability in a specific circumstance – darkness. The darker is the better. Your good personality might be unnoticeable in where you were before. Your talent might have been devalued or ineffectively utilized. But now is the time that you would shine your light unto your neighbors and your family. Your faith can truly be proven as the genuinely oriented from the Lord as you sincerely praying for others and encouraging them to stay in their hope and belief. 

Our society needs a person who can both rationally and spiritually discern what we’re going through today and guiding people to deal with this invisible fight against the infection.  That person could be you.

These devotions were written by Jay Kim