Babies are beautiful and totally dependent. As babies, we are all born dependent on others for our welfare. Our childhood, teen years, and even into our early twenties are a gradual weaning off of this dependency. Some of us don't make the cut and become codependent. This is not the "healthy" independence that every parent wants their child to grow up and acheive. We all take great pride in our independence, be it individual, national, or other but is that the most desirable state for humanity? Let's really take a look at this "given", shall we?
Let's define our terms here before we go further. From the Oxford Dictionary, let me present you with some definitions, beginning with the root word. -
- contingent on, or determined by someone or something;
- requiring someone or something for financial, emotional, or other support;
- unable to do without.
It is easy to see where the other definitions branch off from the root. Codependence would come from the last meaning. Codependence is the uneviable state that sometimes passes for "normal" or even "self-sacrificing". It is "the state of being excessively reliant, emotionally or psychologically upon someone else, who requires support due to an addiction or illness". .So instead of determining one's own way and finding one's own passion and purpose, the codependent person allows the partner to become the determining factor in their life. The addicted partner has given up their independence to the addiction of course. This is generally agreed to be unhealthy behaviour.
If independence is" the state of being free of outside control, not depending on another's authority". The question one should be asking oneself is, am I independent? Be honest now...how much does the media influence your choice of what you wear, drive, or how you live? Could you simply go out and quit your job? What about taxes? Rules and regulations? You are independent to some extent . But you aren't completely. Although you could be, for a price most of us are unwilling to pay. We leave that to the Nelson Mandelas and the Ghandis of the world. Ever wonder what would happen if we did not? If we really all took our own independence in hand?
So what about interdependence? I was disappointed with the definition in the Oxford Dictionary. All it said was, "...the state of two or more people (or things) being dependent on each other."
Not positive and not negative, mostly not a very good explanation at all, which always peaks my curiosity. Why just that definition? If dependence is generally thought of as a "bad" thing and we define interdependence as "being dependent", doesn't that make it "bad" by association? (I know "bad" is not very accurate - sorry!) I personally, believe that we have been duped into believing that independence is preferable to interdependence. That it is a black and white, all or nothing proposition. I believe that it is a case of both being necessary in proportion. Let me explain:
- You need to develop independence of thought. You need to be able to really see what is and not what you are conditioned to see, question what is, and arrive at an understanding of your own beliefs, your passion and purpose in life.
- Then you need to use that insight and your passion and share it with others. They support you in your passion and you in turn support them. That is interdependence.
Have you every had the experience of a group working together and managing to accomplish far more than expected in far less time? This is especially evident if the thing they are working on is something they are all committed to and all passionate about.
Einstein once said "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." I would add to that, If all the fish, who have been judged "stupid" by the system get together and share notes, they may find out the truth - that the judgment was wrong. Interdependence can do that. That is why we are taught to be independent. So that each poor fish believes themselves to be incapable, when they are not. Because they all stay in their independent little bowls, never sharing their story with anyone else, this belief persists.
Independence and interdependence - both are important. There are many places on the web that are helping people to reach out and find community. Check these out:
As always love to hear your feedback!
Love and light,