It is liberating to write the introduction to a collection of individuality quotes. If you think anything I’ve written sounds boneheaded, then I can say I’m just being me and ask who are you to judge?

In all seriousness, you are in fact highly qualified to judge whatever you read. Tear apart every idea you encounter, sort the wheat from the excrement (the latter of which ironically suffers from no shortage during the “information age”), and carefully choose which truths you’ll hold dear. This isn’t just your right as a rational creature. It is your duty.

Believe me when I warn you never to abandon your individuality. Certain actors make doing so seem appealing, arguing that the greater good outweighs the needs of any single person. But when no two people are alike, and everyone’s goal is different, can a “greater good” even exist? Would it even be utopia if we all wanted the same thing?

Not at all, yet many people would be all too happy to fake it by shutting you up, confiscating all of your wealth for a public project that a party member’s cousin is overseeing, and sending grim, uniformed men to your home at three in the morning to force-feed you castor oil or toss you on the 3:10 to gulag.

It is in everyone’s best interest to act in their own best interest.

Is individualism free license to crush whomever stands in the way of your goals? Hardly. The true individualist appreciates that other people are individuals as well – an increasingly radical notion – and abstains from complicating others’ paths toward self-realization. Individualists don’t view their fellow men like a lion would look at zebras. They cherish others’ autonomy, independence, and self-sufficiency just as much as their own. Domination is more the domain of commie rats and fascists.

Best Individuality Quotes

“‘I’d rather be myself,’ he said. ‘Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.’”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley Quote on Individuality

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote on Individuality

“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote on Individuality

“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote on Individuality

“Even despotism does not produce its worst effects, so long as individuality exists under it; and whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called, and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.”
– John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

John Stuart Mill Quote on Individuality

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
– Rudyard Kipling, Interview with an Immortal

Rudyard Kipling Quote on Individuality

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
– Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Carl Sagan Quote on Individuality

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet

William Shakespeare Quote on Individuality

“Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”
– Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Henry David Thoreau Quote on Individuality

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”
– Confucius

Confucius Quote on Individuality

“The time when you should most of all withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd.”
– Epicurus

Epicurus Quote on Individuality

“A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime; whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, or by millions calling themselves a government.”
– Lysander Spooner, No Treason

Lysander spooner Quote on Individuality

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”
– Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

Ayn Rand Quote on Individuality

“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
– Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand Quote on Individuality

“And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: ‘I.’”
– Ayn Rand, Anthem

Ayn Rand Quote on Individuality

“Individualism regards man–every man–as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being.”
– Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

Ayn Rand Quote on Individuality

“An individualist is a man who says: ‘I will not run anyone’s life – nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone – nor sacrifice anyone to myself.’”
– Ayn Rand, Textbook of Americanism

Ayn Rand Quote on Individuality

“In a sea of soulless, sheeplike dependency, it’s easy to spot the fiercely independent people who continue to declare our independence. We are the producers, the people who make the country work. We are business owners and hardworking employees. We are fiercely American; we believe in self-reliance and rugged individualism.”
– Ted Nugent, Happy Independence DNA

Ted Nugent Quote on Individuality

“Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth – don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.”
– Aesop

Aesop Quote on Individuality

“True happiness does not come from without: it comes from within. He who loses his individuality loses all.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi Quote on Individuality

“Individuality is to be preserved and respected everywhere, as the root of everything good.”
– Jean Paul

Jean Paul Quote on Individuality

“It is important to foster individuality for only the individual can produce new ideas.”
– Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein Quote on Individuality

“Socialism exalts the rule; Liberalism exalts the man. Socialism attacks capitalism; Liberalism attacks monopoly.”
– Winston S. Churchill

Winston S. churchill Quote on Individuality

“For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took all the blows and did it my way”
– Frank Sinatra, “My Way”

Frank Sinatra Quote on Individuality

“I am what I am, and that’s all that I am”
– Popeye the Sailor
Popeye the Sailor Quote on Individuality

How’s that for a collection of individuality quotes?