If the notion of the self is a product of human confidence and security, of free time and free choice, then it is nothing less than a product of civilization. Individualism is a reward, like the printed word and manicures, for millennia well-spent. By this logic, those who draw their sense of identity from within--from the self, as loners do --rather than from a group and it's folkways, are basking in the glory of advanced civilization.
I like to leave my phone at home and walk to a coffeeshop by myself. On my way today I stopped at one of the little library boxes that people put in their yards and I found this book. As I sat alone in a corner of the cafe patio I read two chapters; easily absorbed by validating thoughts that it seemed I could have written myself. I couldn't have found a better book this morning, and I look forward to finishing it!