Remembering the Strength of Interdependence on Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2012

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The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy 4th of July to American readers!

This is an important day for so many of us Americans, because America has always been a country that values freedom and independence.

On this day of celebration, I also want to mention a strength of American character that we don’t always remember.  At our best, Americans are not just masters of independence, we are also masters of interdependence.  We care about the whole world, not just America.

My family experienced this gift of interdependence this week, when so many of you kindly sent well wishes and prayers from around the world for our little Lhasa Apso Ginger, who is doing much better now.  I believe the energy you sent made a difference!  I’ll share an update about her in another post.

Today, I want to remember our deep strengths of interdependence in not only America, but most places in the world.  The majority of us care about family, community, fairness, social equity, and prosperity.  We sacrifice so that our children can have better lives than we did.  We do our very best to make the world a slightly better place because we are in it.

Lately, many of us have realized that America’s culture and economic systems aren’t optimized to help the whole of America to prosper.  Economists have noted that the majority of middle class Americans have seen our standard of living decrease in the last ten years.  Despite advances in technology and productivity and global interconnection, the wealth created by the work of millions and millions of people has largely been absorbed by a small percentage of our population.  Americans have had tough times like this before, but never has the disparity between rich and poor been so great as it is now.  Perhaps, that’s because we have glorified money and independence too much.

Yet, money is not our real problem.  Money is only valuable because we give it value, and our political and economic systems exist only because we allow them to keep going.  If enough Americans chose to live differently, our lifestyles could change dramatically for the better.

My intuition makes me quite optimistic.  I believe a positive global change is underway and that we are on the brink of a better era in both American and global history.  I see this as a new collective energy moving into the world.

We are moving into a new era when both independence and interdependence are required.  In America, we can choose to be masters of both aspects of human character because the foundations of respect for human life give our country strength.  If we lose our connection to interdependence, our independence means very little.

Yet going forward, I believe honoring ourselves and others for past and current positive change is more helpful than blaming others for past and even current mistakes.

I’d like to suggest that you honor yourself for the choices of interdependence and independence that you have already made in your life.

If you have the time in the next week or so, ask yourself this question:

How do I use my independence, including my special gifts and talents and unique voice, to strengthen the ties of interdependence in my part of the world?

There are probably many ways in which you already do this, but maybe you could do even more.

The more you become a master of both independence and interdependence, the better this world will become!  None of us can make the world a better place alone, but working together we can create miracles.

Have a wonderful Independence Day and don’t forget to remember all of those men and women who gave their lives out of a sense of interdependence to create your freedom!

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