Interdependent Independence

The time is ripe for a reflection on our independence.  In the States, it’s a big deal to be independent, as a nation and as an individual.  We’ll take care of ourselves, and better yet, I’ll do it on my own.  This philosophy works to an extent, but I think we all know that anyone with this sole mentality is destined to break at some point.

Rather than going full speed ahead till we crash and burn, let’s look at our saving grace.  Politician I am not, so I won’t pretend to understand the complexities of our global situation.  Furthermore, I’m not a historian to put our past and present in perspective, learn from mistakes and go forward in good conscious. What I know about independence, I’ve learned from being myself, especially a mother.

I’ve learned there’s no such thing as true independence because undoubtedly we’re dependent upon others in some way.  I depended on my parents and grandparents to provide my needs growing up, and they depended upon their financial resources, food suppliers, the economy, our government (state and federal), etc., etc.  In college I depended on financial aid and my friends for emotional, social and moral support.  My husband and I depended (and still do) on each other to uphold our responsibilities in our relationship.

And then we had a child.  Now we have four children.  Now we have people depending on us.  Day in, day out, four faces look to me for guidance, four bodies trust that I will provide food and shelter and four beings are in my complete care.

Suddenly I realized all my parents ever did for me, why my mom would get so upset when my brother and I fought or were ungrateful.  I consider myself lucky not to take my parents and grandparents for granted, even though I know I don’t extend my gratitude and love often enough.  however, I also realize that neither they, nor I, go it alone.  We are all in this together, whether we want to admit it or not.  I think it’s best taken as assurance, the saving grace.

So as I grow older it seems I learn daily how we rely on each other and work together, directly or indirectly.  It comforts me to think that we’re all part of an intricate web, despite the oft-used cliche.  And as much as I like to think “I’ll just do it myself,”  I need to get over myself and remember I do nothing solo.  I need to walk daily in gratitude, and it would be nice to think of every day as a happy interdependence day.

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