Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Independence vs. Dependence vs. "Interdependence"

Dear sis,

I've been pondering a question on which you may or may not have an opinion to express.

Perhaps you can relate to this: it seems to be built into me that I really, really dislike being dependent on other people. I don't mind other people helping out sometimes--it often makes things happen faster and better--but I hate, hate, hate it when I find I don't have the power to make do on my own, if necessary. It makes me feel like an idiot and a child. Obviously it isn't possible (in mortality) to do without help from Heavenly Father and Jesus[1], but what about other people? Are friends necessities or luxuries? What about your spouse? I've heard people say that you ought to aim to be "interdependent" with your spouse instead of "independent," but that doesn't seem quite right to me. I want to marry someone because I like her, not because I need her, and I would hope that if she or I were temporarily stationed thousands of miles away from each other we'd miss each other but both be basically okay. Anyway, I can't remember what Heavenly Father and Mother's relationship is like, and all the other married people I know have been married for considerably less than a thousand years, so I don't know for sure, but my hunch says that in the long run, (the capability for) independence probably is the ideal to aim for. Interdependence is still dependence, after all.

I may be barking up the wrong tree here, since everybody but me seems to think that "interdependence" is better. I've been pondering this question for three years or so and I'll keep gathering data. If you want to weigh in with an opinion, I'll be interested in hearing it.


P.S. I mentioned to you that I was feeling strange emotionally, right? It turns out that was at least partially seasonal affective disorder (there's no sun in Washington). Vitamin D supplements have cleared up the problem. I'm not generally big on artificial health aids--they seem like cheating--but I'll make an exception for vitamins because it's easier than drinking a ton of Vitamin-D-fortified milk. I bet lack of sun is not a problem down in Texas...

It's always a little bit funny to me that your body can affect your mind, but obviously it can.

[1] Even not counting the Atonement, they're the ones who make the sun work, and who provide the electromagnetic force that keeps my atoms together, etc.

"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

No comments: