sparklerAt this time each year, many across our nation celebrate the ideal of independence. Some of us celebrate the independence of our country, while others celebrate more personal expressions of autonomy and liberty. (Personally, I take great delight in marking Independence Day as the anniversary of the date I paid off my student loans.)

But I am here to suggest that each time we celebrate independence, we are missing the point.

We depend on each other: our families and our communities. American independence is really interdependence. We depend on the neighbors who help us build a barn, the teachers who school our children, and the leaders who call us to something larger than ourselves.

We are better together. The sooner we celebrate as a nation what we know in our hearts, the better we can be together. Because together, we can cultivate a new American dream. Together, we can have more of what matters. More creativity, more life, and more community.

To you my beloved community, I repeat the words of the wise Gwendolyn Brooks:  “We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”

It is my honor to share in your successes, your failures, your trials, and your tribulations; your wins and your struggles. Because together, we are better.

Happy Interdependence Day!

Photo courtesy of flickr user Derek Key

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Holly Minch is LightBox’s founder and hopes you take a moment to consider your interdependencies this July 4th.