Independence Leads To Interdependence

Happy Fourth of July Everyone! Today, we celebrate our Independence.

So here’s a powerful question: What are you declaring independence from? What are you breaking away from this Fourth of July?

Fear of risk?

The naysayers in your life?

The status quo of mediocrity and repetition?

What are you declaring independence from?

The wonderful irony of Independence is that by stating such a declaration, you step wholly into interdependence. And that’s a good thing. Think about it: The founding fathers could not have built this nation alone. They separated from tyranny to build possibility! But the thirteen colonies needed each other to survive; in order to build a more perfect union, they had to work together. The Continental Congress couldn’t do it by themselves. It took community, people of all types, and a collective commitment to work together for a common goal. It’s taking us a long time, and we still haven’t mastered it, of course, but it is interconnected, interdependence that supports our independence.

We tend to celebrate independence in this rugged, bootstraps, I-don’t-need-anyone American mindset. But NO ONE does it alone. No one! We use collective resources, services and roads; we eat food others have grown, and drive cars others have built. In all aspects of our independence we are working with a team, a community, a neighborhood, a family…it is this very interdependence that is powerful. If we’re celebrating independence as some kind of isolated lone wolf, then we’re missing the point.

So this Fourth of July, by all (safe) means, celebrate Independence. And, while you’re at it, honor also the truth and value of interdependence: Great leaders don’t go it alone. They are engaging and serving those around us.  Real leadership is the invitation for what comes after the independence; that’s the real promise. What good is Independence from something if there isn’t a powerful something else to move towards in its place?

Happy 4th Everyone!