I am at a goalie development camp all week with my son, except for Friday when I’m heading out for a Nascar race in Brooklyn, Michigan. The camp is for him but I am learning so much observing him and witnessing the struggles he faces.

Most of all I have become aware how tricky independence can be.

It’s tricky because it can mask itself as selfishness or shyness. You do things for yourself because you don’t think you deserve any help or that nobody would want to help you. You might also do it all yourself because you think nobody else can do it as well as you. See how tricky this whole thing gets?

How is a parent or a kid navigate and learn from all this?

I’m not sure. If I did, I would certainly tour the country and give people the knowledge they need to be exceptional human being. But perhaps I do know, or at least I am willing to take a shot in explaining what independence is.

I think independence means that you are free and have the resources to do what you want to do. If you don’t have the freedom or the money or the time for that matter, it is very difficult to be independent. That’s probably why so many people get high or binge watch Netflix all the time. 

I also think that independence also means knowing when to ask for help. What things are within our control and what things are not. There is wisdom in knowing the things we have to get at and the things we can farm out to someone else.

Above everything else the most important thing to do is to keep getting at things and to create. That is the only way we are going to come face to face with being independent. And why is independence so important? Well, independence trumps dependence any day of the week. There is strength and grace to standing on your own and being grateful for the life we have. But more importantly, independence leads to interdependence. That magical place where two people or a few more work together to crate something bigger than themselves. 

You see. When you connect yourself to someone else. When you make a real connection with someone, your world doubles. You have access to and can be a part of everything that they are involved with. Thats’s if you’re actually connected. It has to be real. It has to be natural, otherwise it’s just make believe.

I’ve almost reached my word count, sitting here enjoying a break and some yummy butter chicken and garlic naan. My time is up, there are things I must attend to, but I hope my little musing about independence sparked a thought and leads to some analysis of how we can all be even better people.


Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@creativedamages