Saif Ali Shaik

July 25, 2021

Independent? Then there's Interdependence.

My whole life, I developed this lousy paradigm to become as independent as possible. We feel restrained to do a lot of things from a very young age.

  • If I need to buy a new bag, I need to ask my parents for it.
  • If I need to go on a holiday trip, I need to seek permission for it.
  • If I need money, I need to request it.
  • If I need to take leave, I need to place a pleasing letter for it.

I understand all these manners are in place to cultivate organized and safe living. 

  • The parents do it to protect us. 
  • The school does it educate us. 
  • Organizations expect it to have us participate in the mission, whichever they are on.

The only answer to escaping from manners that restrained me would be to earn a lot of money or to own/lead a business where I write rules. For which there won't be any rules to order me. I would be independent.

In college, I was sharp. I used to learn a lot of things on my own. It felt nice. Society rewarded me for being independent. All the processes are built in such a way to make you independent.

  • If I top the class, I study. I give an exam. I beat the class.
  • If I do a project, I learn. I build. I show. I get marks.
  • If I make 100 runs in a cricket match, the people around will appreciate and credit me for it.
  • If I make enough money, society will credit me for having built my own life.
  • If I write code or an application, my team will credit me for saving the day.

Likewise, I used to crave recognition for the independent milestones I've achieved and the attention I think I deserve.

But then, one day, for the second time, I lost my laptop at a railway station in Chennai. It was too much important for me to ignore. There's a lot of work and memories in them that I care about. I am handicapped after I reached my destination. I cannot even go back, and who knows if the laptop bag would be still there safe at the station.

I badly needed help. I had one of my friends, Vinay, who was there in Chennai, luckily. He went there in few hours, looked around, talked to the policeman, waited for in charge to come, negotiated with patience, proved the ownership, and finally got the bag with the laptop in it.

For me, I requested him to check if the laptop bag is still there or stolen. But he took all of his skills to the next level and got the laptop bag. But Vinay is one of my friends who took all the effort. That's Interdependence. 

It is something all of us need to be capable of doing.

  • I should make 100 runs, not because I could win the match, but because there's one next to you who will take five wickets to help the team win the game.
  • I will write code or build a module because we committed and trusted each other. We will reach X goal by the end of this month, and each one of us does our own to achieve that X goal.

That is what the paradigm of Interdependence brings to the table. It's a maturity continuum.

  1. Dependence is a paradigm of You -- you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn't come through; I blame you for the results.
  2. Independence is the paradigm of I -- I can do it; I am responsible; I can choose
  3. Interdependence is the paradigm of we -- we can do it; we can cooperate; we can combine our talents and abilities and create something greater together.

Did you also saw Independence as the last level? It's still not too late to realize Interdependence is.