“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us. — Stephen Covey
Have you noticed that the world seems to have gone a little overboard in terms of independence? I was shocked one day to sit in a restaurant and overhear a rather loud discussion among a group of older adults. I couldn’t believe these people were saying that everything they had accomplished in life they did on their own, no one ever helped them. Really? Where were their parents, teachers, employers, friends?
No one can survive totally on their own, without others. Life in this world is not always easy. We need each other.
Now I’m not talking about giving control of our minds or lives over to another person. I’m talking about interdependence. I like the definition from Wikipedia which defines interdependence as “mutual reliance between two or more groups.” The key word here is “mutual.” We’re not talking about one person or group controlling others. What we are talking about is people looking out for each other, caring and working together for the common good.
I believe an extreme belief in independence has been a contributing factor to the division and turmoil in much of the world today. We don’t have to agree with those around us to see that the world might be a better place if we could learn to work together. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
– Vicktor Emil Frankl (Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist)
“The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
― Wendell Berry,
“The freedom we are looking for
is the freedom to be ourselves,
to express ourselves. But if we look at our lives
we will see that most of the time
we do things just to please others …
The worst part is that most of us
are not even aware that we are not free.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” — Kevyn Aucoin