Remembering the Strength of Interdependence on Independence Day

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!

18 thoughts on “Remembering the Strength of Interdependence on Independence Day

  1. LediaR says:

    Wow! Karen, another amazing article. I love the way your brain works. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful perspective and knowledge with us!

  2. mountainmae says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I have been doing a lot of thinking about how the thinking of americans seems to have changed to more personal oriented instead of community or nationaly oriented. What is best for them as oppossed to best of the community or the nation- even or rather especially in our legislative body. So many folks able to vote feel so disfranchised and have given up on being able to make a difference. Democracy is a verb requiring participation.

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thank you for your comments.
      Part of my frustration with politics is that it’s so intertwined with economic interests, and while I vote, I’m not always confident that there are politicians who care about deeper issues. I tend to think the growth of the national and international corporations have been part of individuals feeling pulled away from community and patriotism. Many of us have had to move around away from family to get work at one time or another in our life, though that’s not completely new to the 20th and 21st century, but our culture and perhaps all of our abundance as well has made it possible to live as if we were islands separated from the whole rather than part of it.
      The one good thing, if there is any,about the tough economic situation in our country is that in some cases tough times can bring families and communities closer together. It can make us realize how interdependent we truly are.
      On the whole, I’m optimistic that we will see a resurgence in community involvement because we will have to change our ways to survive. I also believe that as more of the population ages and stays healthy for longer periods of time, we also have the opportunity to grow wiser as a society.

  3. eof737 says:

    ღ˚ •。* ♥ ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* 。 ღ˛° 。* °♥ ˚ • ★ *˚ .ღ 。*˛˚ღ •˚ ˚ Happy Independence Day Greetings! ˚ ✰* ★˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚ღ。* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ★ღ ˚ 。✰ •* ˚ ♥

  4. jamieaaron03 says:

    Holliday like this, that just pay homage to our country and forefathers are good for bringing us all together 🙂

  5. Three Well Beings says:

    I’m so glad that Ginger is doing better, and I love the word “interdependence.” Spending the last year blogging and communicating with new friends all over the world has completely brought home to me how small our planet really is, and that we do strengthen each other. And we can diminish one another, too, if we forget about the synergy of interdependence. What a great day to promote this thought, Karen! Happy 4th to us, and blessings to our friends around the world! Debra

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thank you Debra for all your support with Ginger and beyond. Like you, I’ve been amazed at how blogging has changed my view of how close we really are in the world. Happy 4th to you too! Karen

    • Karen Wan says:

      We are so lucky to live in this country, and I’m hopeful we’ll become an even stronger country in the months and years to come. Thanks for stopping by!

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