Western culture celebrates the value of independence and self-reliance. It’s almost perceived a weakness to seek out advice and support from others, especially parents. Our society makes fun of children who live at home past high school and disdains the success of those who build on platforms they’ve inherited.
In my own life, there have been times in which I didn’t value anything that I hadn’t earned on my own. “A real man provides for himself,” I would think. Maybe you can relate. I still struggle to place the same value on what I can learn from my parents, teachers and from my pastor as what I can come up with on my own.
The truth, though, is that each generation shouldn’t be starting from scratch. (TWEET THIS) I appreciate the confidence that comes from nurturing independence in children, but I’m also learning the importance of making sure we value other people, especially those God has commanded us to honor.
What do you think about the values of independence and self-reliance in our society? Are they hurting us or helping us?
I know it sounds like I’m confronting a national value. After all, we have a national holiday we call Independence Day. To be clear, I completely agree with the decision to free ourselves from tyranny. I completely disagree, however, with the choice of individuals to use their freedom to isolate themselves and their decisions from people who can help. As much as we are a free society, we are an interdependent society. We need each other to experience the best life possible.
I’m naturally wired to be very independent. I don’t like oversight. I fantasize about autonomous power over my life and decisions. I’ve always been that way. But I’m wrong…especially when it comes to family relationships.
The truth is that there is a blessing that fathers and mothers have to offer the work of this generation. Moreover, there is a blessing that we have to offer future generations. We’re uniquely positioned to build the future by not only focusing on our children but also by restoring the broken parts of relationships with parents. While we may choose to bless future generations, we need the blessing from previous generations to discover our own potential.
I believe this is where the Honor Cycle starts: learning how to open the door for blessing in our lives through the practice of honor, then discovering how to pass along the blessing to future generations.
Do you think our society has gone too far promoting independence? (tweet this)
What value do you see in submitting your life to the input of other people?