Maybe it is time to create a Declaration of Interdependence to acknowledge that no one does it alone. For each of us to be where we are, there have been countless people and events who have come before. It is easy to lose sight of this in a culture that honors individuals’ accomplishments.
What might be available from creating a “Declaration of Interdependence?” My hope is that it would bring awareness to how we can all flourish more fully if we are willing to acknowledge that we are interdependent. Maybe we can look at humanity as an organic model. If one part of the organism of humanity is lacking, it does not have what is needed for the whole of the organism to flourish. If another part of the organism experiences out-of-control and unchecked growth, it is cancerous to the whole of the organism.
Buckminster Fuller had this sort of view of humanity and its environment as an interdependency. He explored throughout his life. The following is not easy to read, but contains a magnificent vision.
“What I am trying to do. As a conscious means of hopefully competent participation by humanity in its own evolutionary trending while employing only the unique advantages inhering exclusively to the individual who takes and maintains the economic initiative in the face of the formidable physical capital and credit advantages of the massive corporations and political states I seek through comprehensively anticipatory design science and its reduction to physical practice to reform the environment instead of trying to reform man also intend thereby to accomplish prototyped capabilities of doing more with less whereby in turn the wealth-regenerating prospects of such design-science augmentations will induce their spontaneous and economically successful production by world-around industrialization’s managers all of which chain reaction-provoking events will both permit and induce all humanity to realize full lasting economic and physical success plus enjoyment of all the Earth without one individual interfering with or being advantaged at the expense of another.”
R. Buckminster Fuller
Elizabeth Warren has also been describing this recently.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.” She continues: “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
I, for one, am willing to let go of the “I” with the intention that the “we” can flourish and be sustainable.