Celebrating Independence Day with Independence
In the United States, where I spent quite a lot of my youth, yesterday was a very special day of celebration: Independence Day. The irony of my life choices isn’t lost on me when I am sitting here in the country that the United States declared independence from all those years ago, in London in the United Kingdom that now chose it’s own version of independence with the choice to be independent from the European Union as chosen in the recent referendum.
The declaration of independence of the United States (though not called that yet then) began with the “Boston Tea Party” and the now infamous quote of “throw the tea into the sea” and the official on 16 December, 1773. Approximately three years later, after much fighting and bloodshed, on the famously celebrated day of 4 July, 1776, the United States signed it’s commemorated document, The Declaration of Independence.
Luckily, Britain’s attempt at independence from the European Union has begun in a much less violent way. The margin of people for this leaving is also not so much a majority as that famous day many years ago and the situation is very different with results also still unclear and uncertain. This is a different time and this is a very different kind of desire for independence.
Now is an opportunity in the world when the majority of us living in the western world are blessed with much more decision-making power and the ability to create our own independence, both within ourselves and within our world. We are now much more independent and free than we’ve ever been. So shouldn’t we be happy? Shouldn’t we be thanking our lucky stars to have everything we fought so dearly for all those centuries ago? Or perhaps we missed a point somewhere somehow. What if what we really need isn’t so much independence as it’s a kind of cooperative interdependence – kind of like a good couple that decides to cohabitate and share their lives together. They understand that to make the couple really work, they need to function both as a team and also as separate individuals, so that all three have needs met and are happy with the arrangement. So long as they listen and are aware and understanding of each other, the arrangement functions and they grow closer together. But what do they do when they are not happy? In that scenario, declaring a war of independence doesn’t really seem like the right thing to do, does it? Rather, most people would suggest that they find a way to communicate their issues and to discuss them together in order to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement.
That’s the work I help the couples that I work with do together and I help each understand the mindset and point of view of the other and of the team. Now, if only we could teach governments how to do that better…
Below, my thoughts on independence versus interdependence. And if you have an issue you’d like help with working out in your relationship, schedule a free trial session with me by emailing email@example.com.