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Posts tagged “independence

Independent Self

There have been many attempts to describe the levels of intimacy in human behavior. The basic categorization concluded in three major states of being, either in such a state or between states. That is, the relationship between dependence – independence – interdependence.

My personal favorite (discussing mostly the state of being when one is dependent, then moves to independent and then is able to be and chooses to become: interdependent) is Jorge Bucay (which I undoubtedly suggest for further reading).

Moreover, the foundation of this concept is to understand the following (which I quote from various sources, since I couldn’t have put it better myself and is thus a collage of theories):

Independent Self is a bounded, unique, more or less integrated, motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastingly, both against other such wholes and against a social background.

Taken by: Social Psychology textbook*

Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.” Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically.

Taken by: Marx first used the term interdependence in the Communist Manifesto (1848) in describing the universal interdependence of nations in comparison to the old local and national seclusion of independence and self-sufficiency. Will Durant made one Declaration of Interdependence on April 8, 1944. Others have been written in the years since, and interest in the United States has picked up in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Leaders as diverse as Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Stephen Covey have written and spoken at length about interdependence.

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As I see it,
basically, Independence is what derives from our personal struggle to become a whole individual. To be free. To be emotionally mature and responsible, in theory and in actuality, for our own actions.
Interdependence could describe the bond of man with social factors but in a healthy relationship and not some form of dependency or extreme intimacy.
The best way to put it is:
Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality.  

Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, March 21, 1929, p. 93

Explanation: A child is born dependent and is celebrated, in an independent society, when they can say “I can do it for myself.” However a tribal child is encouraged to grow beyond independence into interdependence, so they can say “I can do it for others”. Truly successful tribes and organizations are by their nature inherently interdependent, whose elder leadership’s multi-generational visioning skills are guiding and evolving diverse competing interests into completing interests, for the benefit of all. The independent is grandchild to the interdependent. by Tom Harris

The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.  

William James, Great Men, Great Thoughts, and the Environment, Atlantic Monthly, October, 1880

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.  

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, Houghton Mifflin, 1911, Chapter 7

…for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.  

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.  

Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.  

Hence, international co-operation and solidarity and the relentless search for consensus become an absolute imperative. They are the only possible alternative for all nations, whose interdependence is being made increasingly manifest by the rapid development of production technology, of transport and communications, as well as by the overhanging threat of deterioration of the environment and exhaustion of natural resources. And what is one to say of the frightful accumulation of means of destruction in a world facing the no less frightful problems of hunger, disease and ignorance?  

Federico Mayor, Address to the “Symposium 80” on International Cultural Relations: Bridges Across Frontiers, Bonn, 27 May 1980



and here comes the twist..


Illusion of Self:

“According to research by Anne Wilson and Michael Ross in 2001, you see the person you used to be as a foolish bumbler with an awful haircut, but your current self as a badass who is worthy of at least three times the praise.”

“The findings of these studies showed you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, cheaters and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame.

This behavior can be observed in board games and senate races, group projects and final exams. You attribute everything to your amazing skills when things are going your way, but once the tide turns, you look for external factors which prevented your genius to shine through”.

Taken by:  Mr. McRaney.

More on his blog here: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2009/10/20/self-serving-bias/




* Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships.

Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.

For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology in 1972.

Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.


PS:: Further reading here http://www.panarchy.org/rogers/person.html