Muse #164 - are we and can we be truly independent?
Today it is the fourth of July - it’s Independence Day for my friends south of the border in the US. I worked in the US in the late ’90s and early 2000s and vividly remember my first Independence day fireworks in 1999 while at Galveston Beach in TX.
I vividly remember the beach right in front of the Walmart Supercentre and partly from the 61st St Fishing pier, both of those are still around after 22 years. But I deviate.
The concept and allure of independence brought me to the US then, but subsequently, I ended up in Canada, a more multi-culturally diverse country than the US.
Independence by itself is a limited construct. The South Asian culture where I come from is based more on interdependence rather than pure independence. This is pervasive in East Asian and Oriental cultures as well as some parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
As a young nation, America stands alone and one can see this culturally more focused on the individual rather than on the collective. But yet, something like the COVID pandemic has shown that we are truly not independent. A virus in Wuhan had more spread in the US than in China. A Delta variant in India triggers another wave in the UK. It has shown that manufacturing as something as small item as disposable mask needs China to manufacture and supply them. And the growth of the US (and indeed other Western nations including Canada) from taking advantage of the disenfranchised in other areas driven by poverty-level wages.
We need to move away from such independence to a world that is reflective of this interdependence. And yes, I am being idealistic here. What better can we do with our so-called independence that makes the world a better place for everyone? If we are unable to do that, then there is no meaning to our independence and we are not as independent as we claim to be.
This is where I was on the 4th of July 1999 https://goo.gl/maps/ydjf5yYtDn7XK2R2A