February 20NextPrevious   

“Ideal of Interdependence”–Daily Metta

“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of humanity as self-sufficiency.”

- –Gandhi (Young India, 3-21-1929)

Though Gandhi’s campaign in India is referred to as an “independence” movement it was more precisely a struggle for liberation. For Gandhi, liberation–both personal and social–is a matter of realizing right relationships to (if I can paraphrase the Earth Charter) one another, the creatures of the planet, our resources and the Earth. Here, he clarifies that right relationships consist of two ingredients: interdependence and self-sufficiency. For, when we aim for independence alone we are apt to find ourselves caught up in spirals of alienation, isolation and exploitation. This explains why Gandhi was not anti-British. Liberation from them would mean establishing interdependence with, not isolation from them. And yet, paradoxically, when we include ideal of self-sufficiency in our understanding of interdependence, we cannot be coerced into even the best of relationships; we must enter into them in freedom. Striking this balance is not without its challenges–interdependence is harder, and takes more work because, (well, sigh) we have to find a way to get along and be generous with others, even when we would rather not.

Experiment in Nonviolence

Identify one area in your life where you would like to become more self-sufficient. How would you balance that with interdependence?

The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 info@mettacenter.org