Eight Inspiring Quotes on Interdependence
Can there be true peace, balance and independence in a country where depression and anxiety are rampant, food is fast and often not really food at all, neighbors are isolated and mass shootings are more and more commonplace all the time?
What if we shift our paradigm?
From being “the greatest country in the world” to being a great place among innumerable great places on this beautiful earth.
From a human race to a global community of lifelong learners.
Most of all, from independence to interdependence.
“We can either emphasize those aspects of our traditions, religious or secular, that speak of hatred, exclusion, and suspicion or work with those that stress the interdependence and equality of all human beings. The choice is yours.” ~ Karen Armstrong
“The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence—to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences.” ~ Melba Pattillo Beals
“The telling and hearing of stories is a bonding ritual that breaks through illusions of separateness and activates a deep sense of our collective interdependence.” ~ Annette Simmons
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~ John Donne
“In the progress of personality, first comes a declaration of independence, then a recognition of interdependence.” ~ Henry Van Dyke
“Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, the better for us all.” ~ Erik Erikson
“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. ’Interbeing’ is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix ’inter-’ with the verb ’to be,’ we have a new verb, inter-be.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Deeply understanding interdependence means realizing that there is no independent self—the perception of self, of “me” and “mine” is an illusion. Awareness that “I” am made of “non-I” elements leads to the understanding of no-self. The realizaton of no-self brings an end to suffering.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Leonieke Aalders/Flickr