This post is part of a series about living well in groups. They are a series of meditations inspired by a chapter in the New Testament. It is Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 12. Verse 21, in the New International Version of the Bible says,
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”
And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!
Dependence to Independence to Interdependence
The transition from dependence to independence (with the detour of counter-dependence) is fairly easy to recognise.
The move from independence to interdependence is trickier I think. It isn’t promoted in our culture. So what is interdependence?
It means recognising that our independence is reliant on things that we did not make. It means recognising that our independence is reliant on our circumstances and other people; it is not absolute.
- The tools we use (from cutlery to computers) were not made by us. We get around in or on vehicles not made by us.
- If we have a distinct style of dress we probably didn’t make the fabric (and if we did it came from plants or animals reliant on their environment).
- Our early education came from early caregivers and authority figures.
- Our later education relies on others too – face to face teachers or more remote ones via text, video and so on.
This doesn’t mean our uniqueness isn’t valuable. It just means that the uniqueness of each one of us contributes to others.
Choose five simple activities you have done today.
What did you use that had been made by others. How did others contribute to you being able to do this?