Friday, July 3, 2020

Independence Day

"freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others."

Being independent
"means being able to take care of your own needs and to make and assume responsibility for your decisions while considering both the people around you and your environment.”

I felt stuck when I attempted to write of late. The words “me” or “we” were bouncing around in my head but I kept hitting a wall. I began thinking about the upcoming holiday, Independence Day, and the characteristic Americans are especially proud of—our right to live as we choose. As I looked up the definition of independent I discovered that I could not relate to it as a interpretation of how we live in the 21st century. Being independent seemed a much better fit. I sat with the words, “assume responsibility for your decisions while considering both the people around you and your environment.”

In this unique time in our history we are called to think, not only of ourselves, but of our place in and our impact on community. Selfish actions are not only thoughtless, they are life threatening. In this escalation of the philosophical idea of “independence” we have forgotten that in truth we are all interdependent.

A community and the people who inhabit it thrive when the population works together for common goals. It is destroyed when people forget that we are linked together by all that we do and how we live in our villages, towns and cities.

Have you ever played this game? Look around your environment and take note of how many invisible and nameless people have provided goods and services to furnish your world. From the person who dyed the wool in your carpet, the carpenter who cut the boards for your floor, the farmer and laborer who harvested your food, and the trucker who delivered it, there is nothing in your world that you can claim sole credit for. You may move independently through your day but each move has been supported by millions of others working and living on this planet.

As we celebrate Independence Day my hope is that we also celebrate our fundamental connection with each other. And that we all focus on bringing more love, more healing and more light into our individual and common world. Let’s celebrate our interdependence with renewed respect and love for one another.