Independent Dependence

The word independence brings with it a sense of pride in this country. A feeling of accomplishment. It symbolizes the very freedoms that our founding fathers targeted when they signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776.

Independence is freedom. It is broken chains. Cut strings. Independence is fighting off the restraints put on you by others. Independence is your thoughts not being influenced by others. Your actions not being controlled by others. It is the outright refusal to be under the obligation of anyone.

In theory, independence is fantastic. But does it exist in reality?

What happens when people in a country overthrow a regime? Or when a person leaves the nest that is their parents’ home? Or breaks free of a controlling boyfriend or girlfriend? All forms of new independence, yes. But newly ‘independent’ countries depend greatly on aid from other countries; political, financial, military. They may be independent of a former regime, but they are very dependent on the world. A person who leaves their parents or a controlling boyfriend depends on siblings, friends, cousins, and anyone that will be there for them. Yes you are free of someone or something, but it only increases your level of dependency.

You think this country is independent? What happens when China stops buying our T-bills or Greece’s relatively tiny economy goes in the tank? You think you are independent? You have a boss, right? If you have your own company, you have customers, right? If you are a professional blogger, you have readers. We all have governments, and laws, and taxes. We are not nearly as independent as we might think.  

Independence is not breaking free from the world. It’s not you alone. Independence isn’t even independent. Independence is actually a comfortable dependency on others.

Take pride in the fact that you have these people around you. Take extra pride in the fact that you live in a country’s who has laws in place to allow you to choose who you want to lean on. Who you are influenced by. Who you are controlled by. This is independent dependence. And that is as independent as we are going to get.

And although at first glance, this might seem troubling or claustrophobic or smothering, there is something really nice about that fact that we are all woven together in one fabric. And while you may be so ‘independent’ that you reside in a far corner of the blanket, you are still connected to every person on this planet.

We are one world. All races. All nations. All religions. All people. We all need each other. We all depend on each other. I think that realization would be helpful to society as a whole.

There is no independence the way we normally think abbout it. And that’s good.

Celebrate our nation’s independence as it was meant way back when. Then celebrate our country’s oneness with every other country in the world. Celebrate your own independence, and all that you are allowed now, as a result of this country’s independence. Then celebrate your oneness with every person in the world.

Happy Independence Day.