With so much currently going on in the world, from the pandemic to police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, most, if not all, 4th of July celebrations have been cancelled. While it is certainly disappointing not being able to enjoy festivities with friends and family honoring our country’s birthday, we now have an opportunities to reflect a little deeper on the meaning behind this holiday.

At Making A Difference Foundation, we not only encourage equal rights for everyone, but also the ability and freedom of everyone to achieve independence in their lives – whatever that is means to each individual and their family.

In our view, it means financial independence where everyone has the capability and option to have a decent, good-paying job, a safe home, to live above poverty, and always have food on the table to eat. But there is still a lot of work to be done for all people to be able to achieve such goals.

As Americans, we understand that the 4th of July is a celebration of our country’s independence and autonomy as a nation. But to be a nation for everyone with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed, we also need to embrace the idea of interdependence, or the mutual reliance upon each other; not the “me” but the “we.”

Dr. Stephen R. Covey, the famous author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote a topic about managing fear and insecurity his blog back on March 19, 2009, during the great recession. Little did he know how much more true this would ring today with everything we have been facing. He said:

“Much of our world is gripped with a sense of fear and insecurity—fear of losing jobs, homes, or our future. In such a state of insecurity and vulnerability, it is easy to see why people might resign to being in survival mode and looking out only for themselves, at home, at work or in the community. In this environment people tend to respond by being more and more independent. The mindset becomes: “I’m going to focus on ‘me and mine.’

Certainly, independence is vital; however, the problem is that we live in an interdependent reality. Our most important work, the problems we hope to solve or the opportunities we hope to realize require working and collaborating with other people in a high-trust, synergistic way—whether at home or at work. Having an interdependent mindset, skills and tools are vital, especially now as we work through challenges unlike anything most of us have ever seen in our lifetime.”

No one within our world can survive completely independent from other people. Every day we rely on each other to strive and thrive, whether that is reliance on and a mutual exchange with our family, friends, or others: those who produce the food we eat, the power we use, the people who deliver our goods, etc. Interdependence is a beneficial relationship between all of us that keeps society healthy and in working cohesively.

For those struggling for personal independence in their lives, our community needs to be interdependent. We need to help and support each other…to end hunger, to end poverty, to end prejudices. Even for the BLM movement to achieve success in ending inequality and violence toward black people and people of color, our community needs to recognize interdependence. It is critical, now more than ever, to have people come together for the greater good and support each other until these issues are resolved and beyond.

So, this 4th of July, we encourage you to reflect on what both independence and interdependence mean for you and how you can help support our community to be more interdependent, inclusive, and a benefit to all