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It's the 4th of July!

With independence comes responsibility.

Reflecting on the 246th anniversary of US independence.

July 4, 2022, Interdependence Day Ponderings

Today, with traditional summer foods, park days, BBQs and fireworks, the USA will mark its 246th year of independence from Great Britain. Many will celebrate, many will stand by wondering how to make this day meaningful for their families, and still others will reject the idea of commemorating the “country’s birthday” altogether.

The Miriam Webster dictionary defines independence as the quality or state of being independent, competent or self-sufficient. When children sever their ties with family, we don’t necessarily always celebrate it as independence, but rather a statement of defiance. As mature adults, we recognize that the road to independence is paved with celebratory milestones and discouraging failures. We must acknowledge that each of those milestones is reached, and each hurdle is overcome because someone is there to respect, believe in, encourage, support, and guide us. This truly changes the lens through which we view “independence” and its relationship to community.

As we ponder Independence Day 2022, I would like to propose a new idea. Perhaps, rather than commemorating July 4th, as the day in which we severed our ties with Great Britain (which is no longer true as Great Britain is one of our greatest and most consistent allies), we can celebrate the view of independence (self-sufficiency) through another lens: interdependence (close mutual reliance on one another).

We celebrate what can make us strong:

• Diversity

• Colorful cultures and traditions

• Ingenuity, creativity, and innovation

• Determination

• Generosity

• Forgiveness

We can pledge to change what weakens us:

• Racism

• Discrimination

• Inequality

• Revenge

• Apathy

We’ve heard the saying: “… with privilege comes responsibility”. While this may be true, it is also true that with independence comes responsibility. The two go hand in hand. So today, we can celebrate independence and the great responsibility it bestows. We can celebrate responsibility and reaffirm our pledge to a more interdependent future. Happy Interdependence Day!

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