Yesterday was the birthday celebration of our country. What a privilege to have the freedoms and blessings we have! As I thought about this as being “Independence Day”, I kept thinking there is no such thing as “independence”!!
To me, independence suggests that we are on our own, or as a 2-year-old would say, “I can do it myself!” The dictionary states that it is a state of being self-governing. I can go with the dictionary’s definition. However, being self-governing doesn’t mean we go it alone.
What I often experience in our society is not so much a perception of being self-governing, but more of an attitude that we in our country can go it alone. We, as human beings, are not meant to live in a vacuum, to live without community. When we gained our freedom from the British government of old, it wasn’t breaking relationship with them. It was changing what our relationship looked like…from being controlled to becoming mutual governing bodies.
I am reminded how many a teenager feels that when they leave home they will be “free” to be on their own. What they don’t recognize at that point is that “freedom” comes with responsibility and working with others in a responsible manner.
When we interact with each other with respect, being who we are intended to be and allowing others to do the same, we can learn from each other, share in resources and be more, both individually as well as together. This is what is meant by that old adage that states, “The whole is greater then the sum of its parts”.
So, when we celebrate the birthday of our country, I am wanting to say “Happy Interdependence Day!!” It doesn’t have the same ring as the other, but I believe it is more true to what makes a great nation, community, family, world…..any system that is healthy and strong!