This article is Part 2 of the Being Independent series, continuing on from Being Independent: What is Independence?
Independence is a highly revered trait in our society, but why do people see it as being so important and commendable? Why do we need independence?
Why do we need independence?
1.) We need to learn to be independent in order to survive
The most important reason for independence is that if you ever find yourself without a parent, guardian or partner there to support you and look after you, you’ll still be able to support yourself.
2.) Independence is important so that you won’t be a burden to anyone
It is natural for a child to be dependent on its parents or guardians. However, when dependence seeps into an age where it is no longer a necessity, it can become a burden on the person who is being depended on. By clutching onto dependence, people are demanding others to take on responsibilities for them. Some parents, guardians or partners enjoy being needed, but ultimately inappropriate dependency is draining, burdensome, and forms an unhealthy, unbalanced relationship.
3.) Independence is an important ingredient for developing good self-esteem and therefore is an important ingredient for happiness
Feeling that you know what you’re doing in life, that you’re in control; that you know how to take care of yourself, how to survive and how to think for yourself, is very empowering. It boosts self-belief and self-respect.
It is no coincidence that young people venturing out into the world on their own for the first time and experiencing independence can be exhilarated by the experience. Listening to your inner guiding voice of what to do with your life, rather than following orders from others, is one of the keys to achieving happiness.
At the other end of the scale, confidence can be lost when people grow old or perhaps have physical disabilities that have caused the loss of some independence. Becoming needy and dependent can reduce self-belief as well as potentially leading to feeling angry and resentful about losing independence. Many charities work hard on Independent Living causes to help people retain feelings of independence in spite of physical limitations.
4.) Independence of thought can lead to incredible discoveries and innovations
By daring to think for yourself along lines that have never been thought of before, wonderful discoveries, inventions and creations can arise. Such innovations can help not only yourself and your sense of self-confidence, but can also further human advances in the world at large.
See Part 3: Why do some people find it difficult to become independent?
This is a 4 part article:
Part 1: What is Independence?
Part 2: Why do we need independence?
Part 3: Why do some people find it difficult to become independent?
Part 4: Teaching Independence in Children