Title: Declaration of Interdependence
Subject: social studies
We celebrate today as the anniversary of the
Declaration of Independence, an event that took place 226 years ago.
Our country has changed tremendously since 1776. It
has matured and blossomed.
We and our children reflect similar growth in our own
lives. What lessons can we teach our children so that they will be responsible
citizens of our country and the world?
The greatest lesson is the understanding of the fact
that there is a stage of growth that goes beyond independence. We encourage our
children to move from dependence to independence. We celebrate the steps that
they make along the way: learning to walk, tie their own shoes, feed themselves,
go to school, ride their bicycles, and achieve their education.
From the kidsí perspective, they are in a hurry to
cast off the ties to their families. This, to them, is what marks their movement
Ours is a competitive nation that places a high value
on independence. Many people, though, donít recognize the role that
interdependence plays in our lives. Itís a topic of discussion for us to have
with our children.
We depend on each other in a household. Everyone
benefits from tasks done by one person, whether it is the cooking, laundry, home
maintenance, or completion of school assignments.
As our children grow, they recognize the increasing
importance of their peer group. They develop these relationships, often to the
exclusion of their own family members and the other adults in their lives. They
may need regular reminders that they cannot live truly independent lives. We
adults remind them of this as gently as possible.
Whether we think about our high school days, college
education, jobs, or neighborhoods where we have lived, our fondest memories are
based on the relationships with people we have made during those times.
Let us move to the macro level, considering the
parallels that exist between person-to-person and country-to-country
relationships. Nations depend on each other in much the same way that
Therefore, the most valuable lesson we can all
consider today, especially with regard to teaching our children, is not just the
independence of our country but its reliance on the wisdom, cultures, and
inhabitants of other countries.