A Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was signed 247 years ago by 56 white men, 34 of whom kept other human beings in bondage denying them the very freedom they themselves demanded.
Currently, in the United States, there is a small group of people who are impacting our rights, our independence by being disrespectful of our laws and boundaries, by responding to the pressures of current populist trends. How can I claim to want my rights, my freedoms protected while denying access to those same rights and freedoms for others? This is fundamental to civil rights, human rights.
I cannot imagine having independence without embracing interdependence. I first wrote about this ten years ago and a friend reminded me that Independence Day is the perfect time to reflect on how important it is that we remember that whether we like it or not, we are interdependent.
As an example of our interdependence on a global scale, I live in New York City and like many other cities across the United States, we have recently had to deal with unhealthy air quality as a result of smoke from fires in Canada. The smoke does not respect political borders. It responds to wind currents and air pressure.
I believe that interdependence, inclusion, diversity, equity, and access for all are critical to our independence. There is a tacit understanding that we must cooperate with each other if we want to get anywhere. The alternative is chaos. To be part of a mob that allows a few bullies to grab and push and pull and take what they want when they want it regardless of the rights of others. To disregard the damage that this causes.
I have always sought to find and nurture clarity out of chaos – to celebrate our independence – or the ideal of our independence as something that we must continue to aspire to. I see our interdependence as a path to our independence. Freedom from fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, ableism, and all other forms of discrimination.
Let’s demonstrate our commitment to independence by celebrating our interdependence. We can come together, and each contribute to a bountiful society. One bringing a dish of food, another building a table, another, playing music, and another making sure that everyone is served.
A Declaration of Interdependence, a 4 minute film celebrating interdependence. Enjoy! https://www.letitripple.org/adeclarationofinterdependence
Wendy Amengual Wark
Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC
July 4, 2023