This week in the US we’re celebrating Independence Day, the day we honor and remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence declaring our independence from Great Britain. So today I thought we’d talk a little about the word ‘independence’ and what it means.
The dictionary defines independence as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” We truly do best when we find a balance of dependence and independence, because most of us can’t live truly independent from others (you depend on others to grow your food, build your buildings and means of transportation, keep the internet running etc.). But as you know, sometimes there can be too much dependence, or the wrong type of dependency (too much to allow for individuality), which is where Independence Day and the separation from Great Britain came from.
What about our independence? It means that we’re individuals, able to make our own decisions about what’s best for us, being brave enough to live our own lives and make decisions for ourselves, and strong enough to take actions that protect ourselves and those we love and create a life we enjoy living.
Right in line with this is something that’s very evident with Independence Day celebrations, and that’s pride. Truly being independent is something to celebrate, to be proud of, which means it’s also a responsibility we have to uphold and care for. It’s something we have to tell the next generation about so that they understand why we do parades and fly flags, or why we’re so careful about our finances and going to school (or whatever your independence is connected to), so that they understand our pride and continue to celebrate it and uphold that independence.
So this week how are you going to work on your independence? Maybe you’re just thrilled how much independence you have this year and just want to celebrate. Or maybe it’s time for you to take a step in the direction of a new independence. If a bunch of men and women can find the strength and courage to separate one nation from another, you too have the ability to move in the direction of independence in your life.