Since the dawn of time, humans have been driven by self-interest, survival and advancing what was best for us as individuals. This notion is celebrated today, as we remember those individuals from the original 13 colonies that were united by their collective self-interests. We fought and won our independence from Great Britain, a separation that was initiated on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. We observe this event on July 4th, the day the resolution was officially enacted.
Just as early man realized that we are stronger together and that our self-interests can best be achieved as a tribe, village, community, state or nation, the independent 13 colonies chose to come together to become the great nation that we are today. And we are a great nation. Being born in the United States and living here all my life is something I remind myself on this July 4th to never take for granted.
It is no small irony that 240 years after the US declared independence, the United Kingdom is declaring its own independence from the EU, a decision that is reverberating around the world. A very different set of circumstances, but a separation none the less. It made me think that the world should begin to acknowledge and accept a new global perspective. What if we adopted a global Interdependence Day. Interdependence is the reality of our time, and I believe our best chance for a peaceful and free world.
The great independence of nations has created a stronger world. But as we know, any strength taken to an extreme can become a weakness. Our weakness as a global community is our fear, distrust and unity as a group of people bound by language, skin color, currency, geography and myriad other fences we build to protect and isolate us.
A global Interdependence Day may seem naive in these times, but what is the alternative? We share the same climate, the same oceans, we rely on trade, new technologies, stable monetary policy, the same need for food, and treatment for disease…in reality, what don’t we rely on each other for?
As is my practice, this is the point in my blog writing process when I check Google to see if my idea or subject has been written about, so I can fact check and determine how original my thinking is…or isn’t. Turns out Interdependence Day is NOT a new idea, but I’m glad to see that maybe a day will come when we celebrate the interdependence of our world—not with a single day but with a daily reminder—that we are ALL in this together.
Happy Interdependence Day, and Happy July 4th, America.