What Bonds Dependence and Independence Together is Choice

Some people believe that there is a very big difference between being dependent and being independent.  They also believe that people can be made to be dependent and only through sometimes, extreme means must we act to make sure that each of us stand on our own two feet and not become a burden on society or those who feel that they are the only ones who can represent society.  I must disagree with this point of view and declare that no one can be made to do anything especially be made to be dependent.  I also suggest that we are all both dependent and independent at certain times, in our lives and the primary cause of this stems from the choices we make as individuals.   I offer you this as proof of my point.

As infants, we depend on our parents, guardians or caretakers to provide us all the things we need to survive and thrive.  We look to them for food to nourish our bodies.  We look to them for clothes to cover our bodies.  We look to them for shelter, security and most importantly love to help us grow.  As we age, we tend to look to them to judge which direction our lives may take and to find out the results of correct and incorrect decisions we make as we mature.  With this knowledge, we tend to try and become a little bit more independent where we wish to tie our own shoes, put on our own clothes and go to the bathroom alone.  Depending on the type of parent, guardian or caretaker we are blessed with determines at what stage we are allowed to advance.  While some are seen to let go of us way too early, others are viewed as holding on way too long and since we are dependent upon them and their decisions as to when to let go, we develop differently at different stages.

In our teen years, we become more independent in many areas but still remain dependent in some.  We still depend on our parents, guardians and caregivers for certain things like the basic necessities but seek to define who we are through our independence streak in other things.  Now as adults and still by way of the development we endured, we stand as independents and free-thinkers but really we are still dependent upon others whether we wish to admit it or not.

We are dependent upon our payroll department at our jobs to make sure that every payday, we get our pay and the amount is correct.  We are dependent upon our creditors to issue reasonable, fair and correct balances of the debt we owe them and the monthly amount we must pay.  We are dependent of workers or those we hire to accomplish the job requested of them and charge a reasonable and fair price for that service.  We are dependent upon those we elect to serve us not only within the political arena but also on our streets and in our military.  We are dependent upon food growers, regulators and other overseers to keep our supplies high and our health primary.  We depend on so many others for some many different reasons but even while we are dependent of these and others we are also independent at the same time.

Truth be told, the areas where we are independent and stand firmly upon our own two feet are far in number than the times we are not.  The ultimate decision of whether that number increases or decreases is choice.  The opportunity to be independent may or may not be present but the choice is always there.  Even in the most extreme conditions, the choice of being dependent or independent is ours to make.  Only when your voice is not considered in the decision making process are you not in charge of choosing.  If someone is standing over you with a gun to your head, it is still your choice whether you submit to their will or not.  The result of your choice is you choosing to be dependent on them to pull the trigger or independent of them making that decision for you however if you just happen to be present when someone else decides to open fire in a crowded place, you were absent in the decision making process and therefore cannot be judged to have been either dependent nor independent.

This should clearly demonstrate why I say that no one can be forced or made to be dependent if they are strongly opposed to being so.  Consider this.  Some people feel that if you provide everything a person needs to survive, then there goes their will to survive because all they have to do is sit back and wait on you.  Let’s say that we are deciding to feed the hungry and we provide everything they need even down to the placing of the napkins on their laps or around their necks, does this really mean that we have just taken away their ability to do these things for themselves and made them dependent upon us?  The flat answer is “no” but there will be some of those hungry who will take advantage of this.  Some then assume that since a few do, then it must mean they all do and this is flatly a lie.

Taking the same scenario, how about if we provide them all that they need to eat but allow them to pick out their plates, place their own napkins and choose their own utensils to eat with.  Have we now turned dependent people into independent ones by making them stand on their own two feet and refusing to do everything for them?  The flat answer is “no” again because people have already displayed their independence by just showing up to eat.  It was their choice to come and their choice whether to stay.  They may be dependent upon you to provide them a full and decent meal but they are not completely dependent upon you to eat or survive.

I think it is time we stop trying to assume that we control other people and began to embarrass the fact that we only control ourselves.  We need to stop thinking that our decisions to do not affect others but they also do not command them either.  We need to find the respect that we crave from others and offer it to everyone.  Allow them to choose for themselves and advise when you think that they may be making a mistake instead of demanding that they conform to your will.  You do not possess the power or authority to direct the lives of anyone, even your own children because at one stage or another, while they were dependent, they will become independent of you.  Just my opinion, I could be wrong and if so ME CULPA. 


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