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All things exist independently, yet interdependently.

Time: while the present exists in the here and the now, we can’t dismiss the shaping forces of our past, the consequences in our tomorrows.

Words: while letters are strung together to form words and sentences, they really come to life when we engage in the ideas and concepts conveyed.

Relationships: while two people in a marriage exist as two distinct individuals, these two people will also become one.

Learning about independence and interdependence teaches me a few things:

While I have the freedom to pursue happiness and self-fulfillment, I am at the same time very much a part of our larger world. I must not complain nor point a finger at imperfections, nor take for granted the blessings given me,  I must not stop remembering, remembering that I am part of the fabric of this society, its struggles and triumphs.

I remember my brief sojourn in New York City.

I saw a trembling, lonely, disheveled old lady at Elmhurst Park.

I know we are not in the least bit related.

But then again we are.

I gathered up my courage.

I decided not to fear or run away, not to judge or to blame.

I gently walked over, and offered her my bread.

***

Thank you for reading.   If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these posts:

Please take a moment to drop a comment, perhaps share from your life or observations of how we are independent, yet interdependent?

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6 Responses to “Aren’t We All Independent, Yet Interdependent?”

  1. Melinda says:

    Lovely, Sharon!

  2. Kellin says:

    Hi Sharon, I really enjoy your blog. Your post on independence/interdependence reminded me of an experience Ken and I had at our favorite taverna in Athens, Greece, called DiPorto (Two Doors). It’s packed at lunch with grocers and shoppers from the next door Central Market, business people in suits, and occasional tourists like us. It’s very tiny and strangers often share tables. On one visit, we noticed a stooped, shabbily dressed, obviously very poor man (perhaps not unlike the woman you found in the park) coming down the stairs into the restaurant. The owner immediately seated him at one of the tables with several other people. No one paid any particular attention to him as he was served and quietly ate his meal. When he left some time later, we noticed that he didn’t pay for his food and that no one asked him to. As we were leaving, we commented to a man, who was leaving at the same time, that we were impressed by how kindly and inclusively the poor man had been treated. He replied simply, “Why not? Any of us might be in his place one day.”

  3. Sharon says:

    Dear Kellin,
    Wow, what a story! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and for penning your observations about this amazing incident. I believe that witnessing and writing about a generous act serves to inspire many more. BTW, if you have shots of inspiration you’d like to share, feel free to float them by me. I’m always looking for inspiring guest bloggers. ;)
    Sharon

  4. Kellin says:

    Thanks, Sharon.

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