Let’s explore our value of independence

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As a consequence of our shared history of colonization, there is a tendency to assign an excessive value to the concept of independence, which has become an all-consuming preoccupation for many individuals. This over estimation is particularly evident in the field of psychology, where the overvaluation of independence is apparent in numerous theories, such as attachment theory.

According to attachment theory, a child’s well-being is determined by their ability to develop autonomously from their mother. This overemphasis on independence has permeated our perception of ourselves and our relationships with others. For instance, when considering our psychological well-being, the definition is heavily skewed towards independence, while the importance of interdependence remains largely unexplored.

As a result of this exaggerated emphasis on independence across our world, there are individuals who are experiencing a growing sense of isolation and heightened anxiety. Unsurprisingly, studies indicate that establishing connections with oneself, others, and the community serves as a protective factor against the onset of such feelings.

In today’s mostly colonized world, self-sufficiency is revered. Of course, independence is not an end in itself. As human beings, we need to contribute and belong to our communities. We desire to be changed by society, but we also desire to transform it; we benefit from reciprocal relationships.

We need to know that we need community to share our wisdom, but also, we are enriched by the wisdom of others. That’s what we did before our colonization. This pandemic has been a difficult chapter around the world, and one that has made us realize just how much we depend on each other for our survival.

Maybe it’s time to reflect on our relationship with interdependence and create an interdependence day — which will likely be both a healthier and more realistic celebration

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