Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interdependence Day : 3 Affirmations for Understanding Each Other

Here we are, with the 4th almost upon us. A celebration of the beginning of our nation. A time to barbeque and spend time with family and friends, to stop and enjoy. It’s a funny thing about us Americans. We are really focused on our independence. We love it. It’s such a core identity of our culture. But is it really the term and mindset we should be concentrating on?

According to the dictionary, independence means, “the freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” Huh. I mean, that’s not really what America is about, is it? The whole idea of independence within a culture is, in some ways, about isolation. But that is not who we are. We are more than independence.

Which brings me to one of my favorite terms. Interdependence. Interdependence is “a reciprocal relationship between interdependent entities.” What? Interdependence is the acceptance that, although we have autonomy and some independence, in the end, we are connected, woven together like the patches of a quilt. It is the acceptance that we need each other.

I wonder what would happen if we all began to look at ourselves as an INTERdependent nation? A nation full of different opinions and beliefs, sharing schools and highways and neighborhoods and work space. What if, instead of focusing on our independence, we accepted the way we are woven together, the strength we share by leaning on each other each day? What if, instead of focusing on every difference, we focused on the sense of connection, the sense that we really do all need each other?

This July 4th, look around you. Not just at your circle, but look in the distance, look at the people in the background of your life. We may be independent from each other in some ways, but in other ways, we are connected. We share the collective value of living in this free country. If we can remember that we all need each other, that we are more alike than different, that we are woven together in this crazy, vibrant patchwork quilt, than maybe, just maybe, we can make our nation even greater than it already is.

Try these great affirmations this week and see how they work for you!

Remember to listen

There is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides.
John Stuart Mill

Practice listening, watching. There is so much for us to learn. We don’t have to agree on all topics, but understanding why our opinions and beliefs are different help us become more tolerant. When we are more tolerant of each other, we are more at peace with each other.

“I can listen and watch and learn something new about things that are different or uncomfortable for me.”

Watch your fear

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

So often, fear motivates our beliefs. Let go of your fear. Know your fears and challenge them so that you can begin to see with more clarity.

“I do not have to be afraid of the things that are different from me.”

Talk with, not at, others

There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting.
Mark Twain

Talking “at” each other instead of “with” each other is a slippery slope leading to misunderstanding and judgment.

“I can focus on talking “with” others instead of at them.”

Have a wonderful week! Enjoy the interdependence we all share this holiday weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding us of the principle of interdependence. Too often we get caught up with self improvement and personal growth and forget that we are part of a greater whole.

    Using affirmations to effect a change is a great idea. Accelerating and magnifying the effect of affirmations with brainwave entrainment can be a positive goal as well.