Independence is Not the Final Goal

Many people will tell you about the importance of independence and the importance of being self-sufficient. They’ll tell you that you need to learn how to do things for yourself, because you are the only person who will always be there for you. As important as independence may be, it is far from being the final goal in human relationships.

Humans are social animals and we thrive on the social interaction we have with other people. There is definite value to be extracted from co-worker camaraderie, because it is through these relationships that we learn more about ourselves and how to find happiness in our lives.

Generally speaking, we evolve through three stages in our lives. Not everyone makes it through the entire process and not everyone will find the ultimate goal in every realm of their lives, but this is the natural progression.

It Starts with Dependence

When you first arrive in this world, you are quite helpless and ineffectual. Babies have to turn to their caretakers for every need, including food, shelter, and protection. Even as these children grow up and mature, they’ll still be very reliant on their parents to provide for their needs. This carries on through to the teenage years, although older youths may start to provide some things for themselves through friendships and part-time jobs. Even so, they are still dependent on relationships with other people to fulfill their needs.

As an adult, you may feel like you’ve progressed through this stage. However, you may still turn to your family and loved ones for support through difficult or challenging times. Some couples still live through a symbiotic relationship with neither partner feeling whole or complete without the other.

Maturing to Independence

Many people feel that the goal is independence. This is when you are able to be complete within yourself, relying only on yourself to satisfy your basic needs. You are able to pay the bills, because you’ve managed to secure a stable job. You are able to cook and clean for yourself. Some people take this further by working for themselves, further extending their reach into independence.

Yes, it is absolutely a point of pride when you are able to move out from your parents’ house and live on your own. It is absolutely a major step when you are able to provide for yourself, but this is not the final destination.

Getting More with Interdependence

The fact of the matter is that independence is not compatible with the interdependent reality of human relationships. You should absolutely be complete within yourself and not dependent on the people around you for support, but you can also enhance your life through the relationships you have with other people. You’re not going to the farm to butcher your own cow, right? We all feed into the system, just as we all feed out of it.

In this way, I feel that it is perfectly acceptable to promote the work of other freelancers, because we are largely working toward a common goal. There’s enough work to go around and these relationships can help to expand my work success well beyond what I would be able to do on my own. Would I be able to sustain a livable income without these partnerships? Probably, but I do better with them.

Human society is interdependent. You should work to be the same.