Mistaking extreme self reliance for individuality is a notion that feels distinctly Western.
However, long before The Declaration of Independence, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance”, or even Julius Cesar: humans have displayed a desire to be self reliant while also longing for community and connection.
This juxtaposition is not easily mended.
To navigate relationships, work, life, all with a hyper focus on self reliance makes for misery.
Life is not a zero sum game.
There is no winner of life.
In fact, you’re happier when the people around you are happier.
And they’re happier when you ask for their perspective, seek help, exchange ideas, receive inspiration, and deepen relationships.
Dependence is healthy.
It doesn’t come naturally and it certainly isn’t modeled very frequently but it’s a good thing.
To lean on the knowledge of others does not dissolve our individuality.
If you and the people around you are completely self reliant, not accepting the complimentary strengths of others, we miss out on crucial human experiences.