Independence As Defined By Me

I feel that it is very important for me to make some clarifications on my feelings about independence, seeing as how that is the basis for this current writing journey of mine.

Independence is something that is extremely important to me, if that has not already been portrayed.  I love it because it is in independence that I stretch my abilities, learn about myself, and grow. defines independent as: “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.”

But the dictionary definition fails to consider that humans are, well… human.  Taking that into consideration I think this definition is a little too rigid.  Perhaps it should read something like: “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others… MOST of the time”

If we’re being honest with ourselves, then even the most independent person needs help once in a while.  If anyone wishes this weren’t true, it’s me.  I don’t like to think that I NEED anyone because that brings about vulnerability. But, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.  It is critical to remember that we as self-sufficient, independent people can lean on others in times of need without having to turn in our ‘team independence’ jacket.   First of all, because in order to join team independence we each had to buy the jacket ourselves.  And second of all, humility is, in my opinion, an important part of independence.  I believe that humility is important to independence because of the balance it creates.  If we were never humble, our independence could easily lead us into the deep end where ignorance and cockiness await to pull us under.

Being self-sufficient doesn’t mean that you can and will do anything and everything on your own.  More importantly than just having the ability to take care of yourself, being independent means you have and utilize your ability to think, assess situations, and make decisions.  When you can think for yourself you are in complete control of your life and actions.  This ability to think for yourself is what drives you to analyze things and choose.  Your analysis of a situation just might be that you need to make a decision to ask for help.  And that’s okay because you yourself came to that conclusion on your own.

I’d also like to point out the use of the word ‘others’ in the definition.  I take the word ‘others’ to mean other people, our fellow human beings.  But there is a being  I do not lump together with ‘others’ because He stands far above us as our omnipotent leader and father.  One thing is clear, we would not have any form of independence if it were not for God.  He is the one who created us, He is the one who created the earth, and He is the one who gave us the very agency which those of us playing for team independence love to use so much.

It is because of God that I have the blessing and ability to gather information and make my own decisions.  It is because of Him that I have been able to travel around the world alone.  It is because of Him that I am able to live on my own right now.  Because He is the one that is always there when I inevitably fall short once in a while and need someone to lean on.


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