“Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.” – Bernard Shaw

Prompt: “Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.” Bernard Shaw expected to provoke controversy with these words, but I would agree with him that these days there is too much emphasis on independence. While it is certainly true that excessive dependence on others is not a sign of maturity, total independence of others is neither attainable nor desirable: we need to be mature, and unselfish enough to recognize our interdependence.

Assignment: Do we put too much emphasis on self-reliance and independence, and are we afraid of admitting that we need other people in our lives? Plan your response, and then write an essay…

The question of independence of every human being is a hard one nowadays. We talk about it, we write about it, we think about it and we want it most of all. Yet, maybe, we overestimate its value and underestimate its harmful effect on people. Do we really need that independence and self-reliance so much?

Independence is what every person in the world is dreaming about. We are looking for freedom from parents, from responsibilities, from people’s attitude, from everything. We stand here and think that we need independence to be happy. We think that when we are free, we can do anything we want.

Therefore, it is quite natural for us to think about self-reliance in our life. Our parents teach us to be independent and to get everything we want relying only on us. Teachers at schools also give us a feeling that only being independent can help us in our lives. Mass media is screaming about freedom and its importance. It seems that we can be happy only when we don’t report to anyone on our decisions and actions. We are stuck in this race for self-reliance.

It’s obvious that there is something good in this independence thing. People begin to understand that their life is only their choice. They learn how to live and sometimes survive in this dangerous world. The independence of the mind is also very important for people. They learn how to think and listen to their inner desires. All these qualities are very helpful from one side, but they are also harmful to our ability to live with others in harmony.

Is it really possible to be independent of everything? We all live in society somehow. This society can be smaller or bigger, it can be better or worse, but each of us has to deal with other people around. We all communicate with people every day. We all live due to the rules that our society has created. Complete independence is possible only living outside the society and there are not so many people with a desire to leave it forever.

Therefore, the idea of a complete independence creates huge problems with communication and relationships among human beings. First, parents tell their children to rely only on themselves and then, these children stop listening to them at all. Children from the very early age think that they know everything better than others. Such approach ruins parents and children relationships. It is impossible to create good relations when there is no communication and understanding inside the family.

This desire to be unique and free from others doesn’t give us even a chance to find a real friendship. Unfortunately, we can see that friendship is becoming more like a beneficial deal now. We close our hearts and don’t let anyone come inside. We just don’t know how to trust other people anymore.

If we will look at marriages, we will see that people are not together like it was before. They want to have more freedom in relationships; they need more space for themselves. A lot of couples forget about the family happiness and think only about their own comfort. It is hard to find the interdependence even inside the family.

The situation is scary. People are afraid of being dependent. They afraid to hurt their feelings, lose their money or other things. People think that being dependent is a weakness, but it is not so completely. It is the greatest power. What one person can do? Can one person stop the war, or gather money for sick people, or change the world for better? We all need the help of other people. When we stuck, when we are hopeless, our friends and family can support us. Without this help, we aren’t able to be truly happy and successful.

We should understand that complete independence is neither possible nor necessary for us. There is some level of independence that each of us should have, but we shouldn’t cross the line or we can lose our humanity. We are interdependent, and we should appreciate this because the connection with other people is in our nature.