We Americans have had a long love affair with the myth of the rugged individual: the pioneer, the explorer, the captain of industry, the superstar athlete, the visionary entrepreneur, and so on. This myth carries over into how some see our country in relation to the rest of the world: we can go it alone, escape foreign entanglements, avoid being taken advantage of by countries that are jealous of our wealth and power.
Questioning individualism can sometimes seem almost unpatriotic.
But we also have a deeper-rooted narrative that speaks to our INTERdependence. As the Declaration of Independence was being signed, Benjamin Franklin observed that, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Our interdependence was reinforced when Abraham Lincoln refused to accept the idea that individual States could leave the Union. And it was echoed in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first Inaugural Address, in the midst of the Great Depression, when he said, “We now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well.”
Times of crisis force us to remember our interdependence. This is a time of crisis – environmental, social, and political – although not everyone recognizes it yet.Times of crisis - like the #environmental, #social, and #political challenges we face today - force us to remember our #interdependence. Happy Interdependence Day! Click To Tweet
Sustainable Business Partners was recently certified as a B Corporation. In that process, we added our signature to the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence, which affirms, among other things:
- “That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- “That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- “That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- “To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”
The environmental, social, and political challenges we face are far too large for any individual person, company, or nation to tackle alone. As we build a new, inclusive, interdependent economy together, we may avoid the worst of the disruptions that look inevitable. We may succeed in building an economy that benefits all.
“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” (Mother Teresa)
Happy Interdependence Day!Questioning the myth of rugged individualism can seem unpatriotic, but America has a deeper-rooted narrative about our INTERdependence. Our #environmental and #social challenges can only be solved by working together. #BCorp Click To Tweet