IndependenceSep 13, 2021
This last weekend was a weird weekend for me. I am an American living in Italy. Italy does not celebrate July 4th, for obvious reasons. However, as I visited with friends and read through FB posts, I am not sure how many Americans were celebrating it either.
Independence literally means not having to depend on anyone or anything else.
Do you believe that people are able to be independent? Truly? Or do you recognize that our system set up to "force" some people into a level of dependence on someone or something?
Where are some areas that may not be obvious, but where slight changes could make a huge difference?
Many companies have inclusion and diversity policies and point to those as examples of how they are doing their part in changing the system. There are a couple of problems with that mentality. First, women's and minorities ability to move up the ladder is often dependent upon the way the company administers those policies around inclusion and diversity forcing them to "depend on" upper management to follow those policies.
Whereas, if a company were to embrace compassionate leadership, one centered around the humanity of the people within the workplace, encouraging connection and collaboration, those policies would be more of a guideline than a necessity. When we see people as whole beings, we choose actions that will help them grow and expand, supporting them to be the best version of themselves. When this occurs, their growth becomes a celebration, so including them at the table becomes an obvious action.
A school's funding is often dependent upon students attendance and state test scores. But, what if students are in situations that make it challenging to attend, or if materials are scarce, or if they have to work to help pay the bills? Then, schools in areas where that may be prevalent will impacted by these circumstances and receive less funding, and thus lower educational opportunities for those same students. This forces those students into a cycle of dependency upon a system that fails them over and over.
Funding of loans? Again, a similar story...and so many more.
So, back to Independence Day...as friends and family back home were celebrating (or not as the case may have been), I took a moment to think about what it means to be independent. I became mindful of the actions that I am taking to help others achieve independence. What about you? Are you aware of and engaged in helping others step into a life of freedom, independence, joy, fulfillment, etc? Or are you so caught up in your own world that you have neglected to see the plight of those around you?
We have an opportunity today, tomorrow and the next to make Independence Day a day of meaning for everyone. Let's work toward that for next year.
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