On Interdependence Day, Be the Peace You Want to See in the World

Today is Independence Day in the US, a holiday that seems quite grim this year, as the American democratic experiment has never seemed weaker or more fragile. 

For many years, I have preferred to celebrate this day as “Interdependence Day,” a day to recognize that the boundaries that might seem to divide us are artificial—in fact, each of us is interwoven with all life on Earth. 

Just as air, water, earth and fire know no boundaries, there is no real separation among any of the components of our beautiful Gaian home.

That may be true at the level of physics and metaphysics, but in between these fundamental realities there is a zone of choice: we choose to group ourselves into communities of like-minded spirits, to dwell amongst people and in places that nourish our growth and flourishing. 

The challenge comes when the ideologies of these groups clash. I support people’s right to self-organize as they see fit, but not to impose their ideas and worldviews on others—not to do harm to other people or any member the Earth community.

These days, we can’t seem to agree on the definition of “harm.” And so we argue and clash, and the cacophonous discord of our public life grows louder and more harmful, while the goal of peace and harmony seems ever further out of reach.

Many wise teachers say we cannot change a pattern we don’t like by dwelling on it. We can only change it by strengthening our vision of the reality we would prefer. 

So instead of rehashing all that is wrong with America and the world, on this Day of Interdependence I am going to celebrate our growing awareness of how our individual thoughts and actions reverberate out and impact the larger social field.

Though it seems like we are being sucked back into the darkness of violence and separation these days, in fact more and more of us are waking up to our profound interconnection, our awareness of each one of us as a point of light in the vast matrix of our planetary home.

On this Interdependence Day, let the light that you are shine out bright and steady. Our task is not to DO so much as to BE—to be a harmonious note in the collective Gaian symphony, focusing on creating a groundswell of peace on this beleaguered planet. 

Namaste.

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2 Comments

  1. penny gill

     /  July 4, 2022

    yes, yes, dear Jennifer…I heartily agree with every word you write here. I too have been struggling to hold the biggest view, the one in which I can back up and try to take in the immense complexity we live in now, which includes not only the dangers and violence, but also endless signs of deep awakening, in every corner of the world – awakening of deeper knowing, profound recognitions of the reality of our lives here on earth, and the incredible connections among us, all coming into view. Reach out and hold the view, the vision, everyone…

    Reply
  2. Gerry

     /  July 4, 2022

    Thanks, I needed that.

    I wonder how Meg Wheatley’s idea of Islands of Sanity fits in with this. Maybe they go together?

    Reply

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