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July 3, 2014

Happy Interdependence Day!

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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

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JohnH Jul 4, 2014 11:17pm

We are celebrating Independence Day commemorating our separation from Great Britain. The Star Spangled Banner national anthem was written during the War of 1812 when we attempted to colonize Canada from the British. Today Great Britain and the U.S. are closest allies (for good and bad) and our economies are deeply enmeshed. Like it or not, we live in a world of interdependence, both economically and ecologically.
I live just down Highway 15 from Murrieta, CA, which is not a small town but part of the Temecula/Riverside megalopolis, population 2,189,641 of which 45% are Hispanic. Murrieta recently was in the news showing how xenophobic and hateful our nation can be to women and children seeking sanctuary from the violence and chaos that we North Americans helped foment in their countries.
"Starting in 1823 with the Monroe Doctrine (a ‘civilizing’ policy of ‘America for the Americas’), the USA has butted in on many of Central America’s affairs. William Walker notoriously tried to take over the region in the mid-19th century and spurred on the era of ‘banana republics, ’ the unfortunate tag for some of the region’s more bendable governments. As bananas started bringing in big money, the US-funded United Fruit Company took control in 1899. In 1954, when the Guatemalan government planned to break up large estates into small private plots, the CIA orchestrated an invasion from Honduras. Soon after, the Guatemalan civil war broke out, leading to 200,000 deaths.
In the 1980s Ronald Reagan channeled US$500 million to back the Salvadoran military, and illegally sold weapons to Iran to fund the Contras fight against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas." You can also research our colonization of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Haiti and more.
Today, our once proud country is beginning to resemble a Banana Republic and the GOP is still conniving to champion large corporations like the United Fruit Company to rob from the poor to give to the rich, by force if necessary. There is a nasty bit of karma playing out here and we as a nation have sins to account for. Possibly this day should be viewed as Interdependence Day to remind us that we are only as great as the least empowered among us and our greatness must be shared to have any humane meaning or worth. Let us begin declaring our interdependence and begin to undo some of our narcissistic karma in the world.
Happy Interdependence Day!
Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/central-america/histo

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom. She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting, and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

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