Tag Archives: ecology

Dependence, Independence & Interdependence

I started reading a nerdy self- help book (The 7 habits of Highly Effective People) and wanted to share what I thought was a noteworthy concept we often confuse or misprioritize – dependence, independence, and interdependence. (highlighted in blue are direct words from the book) Many people think they need to isolate themselves for several years in order to find themselves or get their life together, but the reality is that we live in an interdependent world and being a part of it means we have to relate to that world every single day. Understanding how what you are impacts every interdependent interaction will help you focus your efforts sequentially, in harmony with the natural laws of growth.

  • Dependence– it has its pros and cons, but if it is an unhealthy type of dependence, our sense of worth and security would come from others’ opinions. Dependent people cannot choose to become interdependent. They don’t have the character to do it; they don’t own enough of themselves.
  • Independence– it has its pros and cons as well. Independence is more of a private victory. It is an important stepping stone, but not what we should ultimately strive for. Trying to reach interdependence without first having independence would be similar to trying to harvest a crop before planting it. In today’s culture though, it seems sooo hyped up about, mostly because independent people seem to get what they want through their own effort and are validated from within. Independence is a major achievement in and of itself, but it is not supreme. Nevertheless, the current social paradigm enthrones independence. It is the avowed goal of many individuals and social movements. Most of the self- improvement material puts independence on a pedestal, as though communication, teamwork, and cooperation were lesser values.
  • 🌟Interdependence🌟- Our ultimate goal. “Life, by nature, is highly interdependent. Interdependence is a far more mature, advanced concept. If I am physically interdependent, I am self- reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. If I am emotionally interdependent, I derive a great sense of worth within myself, but I also recognize the need for love, for giving, and for receiving love from others. If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own.
  • As we continue to grow and mature, we become increasingly aware that all of nature is interdependent, that there is an ecological system that governs nature, including society. We further discover that the higher reaches of our nature have to do with our relationships with others – that human life also is interdependent.

What do you think of these interpretations? Do you agree with them? Let us know in the comments below!