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Individualism and Being Expendable

Updated: Apr 25

How can one know when one is expendable in a movie or in any other piece of media? -- By the fact that they can be replaced, of course. If you're a henchman or someone with no known name of your own, there's a good chance you will be either killed, forgotten, or both.

When you're a stormtrooper in Star Wars, there's a good chance you'll die if you confront the main heroes. It's all because their continuity is far more important than yours. You have no face, as it is covered by a helmet that covers the faces of your many counterparts. Thus, if you are to be killed in battle as a henchman, no one will care for you, not within the story, nor outside the story.

While this is not exactly the same in real life, the sad truth is that many of us are, in fact, expendable, at least in the eyes of one person or entity. At work, you could always be fired, theoretically, and be replaced by someone whose skills may be sharper than yours. Sometimes you may be laid off because management decided to cut some expenses. Your livelihood may be their expanse.

If you're in the dating world, there is always a chance you'll be cheated on by someone who is prettier. More attractive, smarter, or stronger than you. If you're a soldier, unless your rank is high enough, you are, and I apologize for saying it, a "meat shield".

A barrier between the enemy and your nation's citizens. If you play a soccer game with a team and you're not very good at said game, you'll be scolded and kicked out in favor of better players, as if losing is that much of a severe thing. Some people do treat it harshly, and not just children.

If you wish to decrease the chances of being expendable, you must become more unique in the field where you are expendable. You ought to hone your skills, be more memorable, and do something of great significance.

It will make people look at you and not through you, as if you are a ghost or just someone else. In other words, individualism is the solution to expendability. No, I'm not talking about being a public nusience. I'm referring to outperforming your competitors in your relevant niches.

In fiction, how can we differ between the heroes and the villain's army they're confronting? First, we are aware of their names and faces. Secondly, their skills are usually far superior to those of the average henchman. Thirdly, they are objectively more important simply because of their role in the plot of the fictional piece.

Even if the villain's henchmen look cool in their suits or armor, in the end it is they who will die, and thus they serve no further role in stopping the hero or heroes. They aren't strong enough to defend from their quest to save the world and defeat the bad guy. The bad guy is by the way, far more important than his or her minions.

This is what I've learned from fiction. "Survival" is not just getting the next paycheck for doing the things you are told to do. It's also about being recognized enough to be as far as possible from being expendable. If it's in a job, then you must show extraordinary skill. If it's in dating, you must train your social skills and your appearance. if it's in the military, you must be extremely disciplined and obedient to your superiors.

However, these solutions are not the end, but the means. They are the means to the end, with the end being anyone you interact with. Be it your boss, your partner, your commanding officer, your teacher, and so on. It might be either necessary or beneficial for your survival.

Thus, individuality can logically play a very important role in preserving yourself in your current frameworks. It may also allow you far more appreciated than the "average joe". More open doors, per se. Proving your worth to others, is a display of distinction.

In order to gain individuality that will elevate you from the average "henchman", you must commit some significant feats that will make you a far more superior candidate for whatever life has to offer for you. For me, it was the books that I wrote. After I wrote some books, people around me began to see me differently.

During the time I went to interviews, my books played a very large role in considering me for the job I was interviewed for. I also went to see a doctor not long ago, who asked me if I knew how to read and write. When I told him I had made a website, I could see the sudden glow in his eyes. Indeed, when you have achievements that are considered remarkable by society, you will not only be seen differently, but also treated differently as well. I don't exactly feel remarkable, by the way. Years of experience made me used to the craft.

Are you having enough free time? That free time can be utilized for a project that will make you memorable. Even if it will not put you on your local television or newspaper. Leisure is important, but that doesn't mean that we must use it all just for rejuvenation and R&R. You do not have to just rest, in your free time, when you can choose to be productive, as well.

Take your time to create projects. That could help people better distinguish you from other people in your social category (such as age group, gender and level of education). Once your merits increase and you become more recognized because of them, greater opportunities might be open for you.

I live in a country where English fluency is rather low. Many people that I knew and know here are having a hard time communicating in English. The fact that I took the time as a kid and teen to learn English, has put me in a higher "position" in school. In the job-hunting world, and attracted to me people from all over the world through the internet. Not romantically, no.

Don't waste your free time. Use it to increase your individuality, and become less of a "henchman" and more of a person who has "plot armor,", so to speak. Make yourself worthy to others, by becoming important! The self can be utilized for greater benefit, without becoming an abusive narcissist.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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