Independence is an enticing word. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “freedom from outside control or support: the state of being independent”. Is this possible? I mean really. Can I ever be independent? Or is it I can be independent as long as I am able to recognize and identify my genuine limitations? The concept of self-reliance is frightening sometimes terrifying when I think I am all there is. My humanness with only a mind and body can simply expand to some point and then isn’t there diminishing returns? Or does independence connect us to a large portion of what makes us…us? If I expand beyond me, what is it that truly places me in the something larger than me? I chose to see my own humanity in my community which is where loyalty is a leading principle.
Independence is more than individualism. I know this just by the context of where it is taught. Independence Day, whether it is in a dialogue about the movie or an audience watching fireworks or a chapter in a history book, signifies more than a single person or single activity. The Declaration of Independence was approved by souls far braver than I who believed in morals and ethics for people extending beyond themselves. This bravery provided opportunities never imagined. Independence joins our humanity together in countless ways through war and peace, discussion and collaboration, even what seems impossible is possible. Independence is treasured, relished and revered aspect of life that resonates within us individually, but is intimately indivisible from humankind.
Independence is more than self-preservation. I know this just by the environment where independence is proclaimed. Independence is a driving integrity. It thrives in the common good, but turns into entitlement when motivated and steered by personal agendas, presumed rights or permission to defend self-absorbed and disparaging behavior.
Independence and loyalty are like friends who need each other though they may sporadically disagree. Independence has become a defensive word to the aging and elderly as their deepest fears surface and their limitations become apparent. Independence is used as a measurement of lifestyle abilities. The philosophy of independence is shifting toward a more individualized self-reliance rather than the concept of joining together in support. This swing is stirring up our human need to control with an attempt to find long-term solutions that are fixed rather than sharing in the truth of aging even if this means talking about things that are uncomfortable and unsettling.
Loyalty is having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something. Loyalty by definition is not necessarily about preferences or favorites. It is the dedication that brings people together repetitively with a promise, allegiance, trustworthiness, and reliability. Loyalty has a steadfastness that keeps people going to the same barbershop, post office or restaurant to be serviced by that certain waitress or clerk who knows the area of where one resides or barber to badger about the local news. Loyalty grows our community and will eventually weed out those without moral principles and commitments.
Independence like loyalty truly is not about individualism or self-sufficiency. These two concepts need each other. These views linked have vision beyond each life stage or predicament that we can get into. Please consider the emptiness and meaninglessness if independence only pointed to self-rule and self-ambition. Mull over and chew on how loyalty of acquaintances, fellow workers, neighbors and community unite us for betterment. Allow me to encourage you to see independence and loyalty as a kind intimate joining of privilege. To view and review this combination through the eyes that where I live, what I eat and being safe are items of existence that lead to futility. Our need for independence also includes our shared interchange that happens in loyalty. Exercise and rejoice in your independence that expands yourself through building your loyalty into the places you frequent, and the people you come in contact.