Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence: the Word

I hope that everybody is having a terrific weekend of grillin' and fireworkin' with family and friends. And toastin' to appreciating our civil rights and liberties. But how free are we really?

I'm leery of breaking into the world of sociopolitical commentary, but Big Business/banks/oil in America is like having an abusive boyfriend/girlfriend with a borderline personality disorder. They go for the jugular and suck and gnaw. We're in a twisted relationship with our country, folks.

It doesn't feel like we are independent. Yet independence as a personality trait is valued more than anything else in U.S. culture. So as a nation, we feel collective shame and guilt.

(Sigh) Okay, let me not wane into cynicism, but wax into glass-half-full mode.

We are celebrating the birthday of our country and my kids are full of excitement. We have been discussing the definition of Independence: "freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others."

We fought hard for our Independence from Great Britain, culminating in the big shindig and signing 234 years ago.

Words are important: what we say and how we view things really matter. Let's break it down. I personally want freedom from "control" and "influence" (unconscious or conscious manipulation) by others, and have battled with the vicissitudes of people-pleasing for all of my life.

Yet "support" and "aid" are gentle words, words that imply a certain amount of safety and trust in leaning on one another. I believe that we as a country need to give more support and aid to countries like Darfur, and on a personal level, we need more of a deep sense of volunteerism.

Yes, it takes a village . . . We all need emotional support from our family and friends, but often we don't get it and spend our lives looking for oranges at the hardware store.

If we want oranges, let's go to a fruit stand, shall we? (But be kind to the hardware store - it's not their fault that they don't have oranges!) This Independence Day, let's free ourselves from the chains of our own limited view of our lives, and our poisonous thoughts of ourselves and others. Let's remind ourselves that "support" and "aid" are a good thing, that we don't have to have a stiff upper lip, and we don't need to isolate ourselves in order to be independent.

Happy Birthday United Statesians!


  1. personal indepence vs political. interesting. glad to hear from you!

  2. Thanks, Hope! Writing helps us make meaning out of the world, doesn't it?

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