Sunday, July 08, 2007


My coworkers and I recently had the luxury of spending some surplus funds on reference books for our mental health agency. One of the books was on the subject of co-dependence. I couldn't help but note the contrast between our perception of co-dependence as a negative state of being and the celebration of independence that we celebrate not only as individuals, but on a national level as well.
One of my colleagues observed that we've come to cherish independence so much that we've developed intolerance of dependence in any form. Thus, if people care for each other, especially if they make sacrifices to provide that care, we label the relationship codependent.
Certainly, destructive co-dependence can and does exist. But I wonder if we've become so protective of our own rights and abilities that we forget that we're made to depend on each other. Not co-dependence. Not independence. Interdependence. Maybe we should celebrate Interdependence Day.

1 comment:

Karen Wingate said...

Some excellent thoughts, Nancy. In the Christian realm, we are taught to be kind to each other, to express our kindness by good deeds. Yet the moment I offer to help someone, they become dependent on me so many people resent my offers or refuse them because they want to be independent. Ok, I turn down offers too because because I want to be independent. Maybe total independence isn't such a good thing after all. Much food for thought.