Think about what you know and believe about independence for a minute. Got it? Now throw it out. Forget it. Because what you believe to be independence is in fact NOT independence.
I watched a TedTalk recently about minimalism. This minimalism stuff is cool. I have finished my 14-Day Quick Purge Challenge and it is so freeing! Feeling calmer, less stressed, and like I’m able to relax. It’s wonderful!!
The guy in this TedTalk, Mark Boyle, lives without money. Completely without it. His story is absolutely fascinating and inspiring.
The truth is that most of us are dependent on others, several others, in order to get through our day. Let’s talk basics. Your food. Unless you grow 100% of what you eat then you are not independent. You are depending on someone else to plant your food, grow your food, harvest your food, process it, package it, ship it, deliver it, put it out for you to purchase, process your payment, and so forth. And even if you do grow all of your food, you’re still dependent on the earthworms, bees, and weather to grow your food.
What about your car? Did you make it? Did you drill for the oil to power it? No? Didn’t think so. Think through other things in your day — your house, your furniture, your water… Are you really independent? Most likely not. So why do we place so much value in being independent when it’s not really independence at all?
I believe it comes down to pride, especially in the U.S. We want to believe that we are self-sufficient, self-sustaining, self-reliant. Have you ever noticed how many words and phrases we have that begin with self? It seems there’s a new one every year. Hello selfie! We’re full of ourselves, aren’t we?
I wonder… if we were to become more aware of our dependence on others for our daily sustenance if we would then become more appreciative of those who do the behind-the-scenes work. Those who grow our food, make gasoline available for our cars, build our roads and houses, and clean our drinking water. I know that I am grateful for all of them, even if I don’t actively say so. I’m definitely thankful for those who make it possible for me to have coffee every morning, especially on the hard days. Can I get an amen? haha!
Just something to think about the next time you flush your toilet. I’m so thankful for indoor plumbing!!