Beware! I question everything and everybody.
'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
Even this challenging situation would ease
When I search the meaning I found, Originality meaning - "the ability to think independently and creatively". If this is what the respected author means than yes we should be in our own no matter what. However, not everywhere you would be liked by people if you go with your own originality. But again, this is what makes one separate from the "crowd".
The problem comes when one sidelines his originality and starts mimicking another person and feels that he will get success by doing that. He may get some success but in the eyes of the society and the masses he will be recognised simply as a copycat. For example there are many artists who mimic Kishor Kumar or Mukesh or Amitabh Bachchan and they are known as mimicking artists only. They are not known for their original trait whatever they possessed.
Adhering to ones original strength area and getting perfection in that is the original thing which can in favourable circumstances take a person to the height of success.
Knowledge is power.
But, the trouble is we cannot sidestep from all the other aspects of our life that define us. We are so closely bound with all the other things that we are, that we allow our individual personalities to fade away and get lost.
How many of us can forget who we are, not in our original versions, but the way society perceives us. Most of us live to please society, and we follow its norms. It takes immense courage, conviction and willpower to realise our own fortes and weaknesses and turn them into our strengths. It needs a change of attitude and acceptance of those around us.
"A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino
You said - " It refers to the power of independent thought. One should have the ability to think or express oneself in an independent and individual manner".
Indeed, a very good suggestion. But, as per my experience, I have seen the same people who follow this noble suggetion, coming with crowd to oppose the person who expressed his thought independently without fear to bring some necessary change in our society. Then this thought become a negative attitude!