We are a culture that values independence and the “can-do” spirit of the individual. The words above are commonly used to reflect those values. I believe that by using such words, we are reinforcing an unrealistic and impossible expectation.
While we are individuals, we are never totally “independent.” The real heart and soul of life comes from being interdependent. It means recognizing that we are interconnected, and that everything we have – everything – is there because of a connection to something else.
I am not self-reliant. I rely on others to grow the wheat, harvest it, bake the bread, deliver it and sell it. They rely on me to buy it, like it and buy it again.
I am not a product of self-help. I may be alone when I pull a self-help book off the shelf. The minute I open it and start reading, however, I am introducing scores of people into my mind who worked to bring potentially life-changing information to me.
I am not a millionaire, and if I ever were, there’s no way I’d be “self-made.” There would be dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of people who could say they played a role in my financial success. I’d be a “many-made millionaire!”
I am independent, as well as interconnected with everything around me.
Our independence is defined by our ability to make choices. The more we recognize the undeniable interconnectedness between us, and make choices that support our personal well-being and that of those around us, the more we will live from a place of peace, empathy and love.