Saturday, January 29, 2011

Declaration of Interdependence


Dependence is a taker's mentality. If you take without giving enough back any system will eventually collapse.
Independence is impossible. You can't make it on your own. Nobody can. Even if you live alone in the woods you would still rely heavily on the landscape around you that would provide your food, your shelter, your clothing. It all comes from somewhere.
At the fringes of dependence and independence a viable option emerges. Interdependence. We're all in this together. Noone is an island.
As individuals, we depend on our families and they depend on us. We are stronger together than any of us are alone. We depend on our friends to bail us out of jams from time to time, and we do it gladly because they'd do the same for us. We depend on our adversaries and our competition to keep us from falling into complacency.
We depend on our communities and the rich network of people and services who make it up, and our communities depend on us. Without us it would be diminished.
As communities, we depend on our farms and our supermarkets. We depend on the food they provide, and they depend on us to buy it. We depend on other communities, for other hockey teams to play, and for other places to buy things, and for accommodations when we're far from home. Other communities can depend on being able to come here for things they can't get at home, and on us to do our part for the province and the country.  
As a country, we depend on trade with other countries. We depend on our military and our ambassadors, who depend on us for support and guidance. We depend on friendly countries like we depend on our friends. They depend on us just as we depend on them. You never know when disaster will strike and we'll need to call for help.
As a species, we depend completely on the biosphere. The systems that create and sustain life are generous and plentiful. Now that we've become the dominant force on the planet, the biosphere depends on us too. We need to take care of it like it takes care of us.
We embrace this interdependence, because at every scale, relying on each other is richer and more rewarding than trying to go it alone.
We respond by meeting our responsibilities. We recognize that our rights and our freedoms flow from the interdependence of all life and the interaction of a great many systems. If any part of the system fails or disappears, the system may be resilient enough to carry on, but it impoverishes us all.
With everything that grows or wriggles on this earth, we declare our interdependence. We depend on them, and they depend on us. If we let the system down, it will let us down, to our detriment. This system might not run forever, but we won't let it down. Not on our watch. We're in this together.

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