Celebrate Independence but Recognize Our Interdependence

Updated: Jun 29

America celebrates its independence this coming weekend. The celebration not only represents America's separation from England but also marks its contribution to what it means to found a nation based on spiritual ideals.

When Benjamin Franklin penned the Declaration of Independence, he noted, "We have done the major work; the writing of the Declaration of independence is behind us. Now we can be about the business of discovering our divinity within our humanity."

When we are not directly touched, we may believe we are not affected by external events. Indeed, what concerns us or one part of the world involves all of us. For example, the death of students and people in the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, affect us emotionally. The Russian invasion of Ukraine takes an emotional and economic toll on the world economy. The recent Supreme Court decisions that expanded gun rights and restricted the right to choose to have an abortion impact more than just a few emotionally, psychically, or economically. Such events remind us of our interconnectedness: part of discovering our divinity is to realize that we are not separate beings; instead, we are all one in the Spirit.

In addition to celebrating the American Declaration of Independence, it behooves us to recognize and affirm our fundamental interdependence with our fellow citizens on the planet.

Toward that end, we can acknowledge the "Declaration of Interdependence," written by Will Durant in 1944, by embodying these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all life is interconnected and endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights and responsibilities,

Among these are presence, compassion,

and the pursuit of happiness,

To secure these rights and responsibilities,

We open our minds and hearts to the needs of others

and our own true needs,

We hear the sound of the living universe in our ears,

and add our voices to the song,

We live every moment with awareness

of the purity and the power of existence,

And for the support of this Declaration,

we pledge to each other our love and our breath,

For the freedom of one is the freedom of the all,

and the pain of one is the pain of all,

The breath of one is the breath of all,

and the breath of all is the breath of God.

It is great to celebrate our independence. At the same time, let us recognize our interdependence. After all, we are part of one spiritual family and we are all the children of God.

Peace and Blessings,