How Do You Depend On Others?

Events of the world show that we are more deeply connected than ever before. We all depend on each other. What happens halfway around the world can have medical, political, financial, or environmental impacts here.

With that in mind, it might be helpful to explore just how you rely on others. From family, to friends, to colleagues, to complete strangers, how does your life depend on the actions of someone else?

That also leads to the obvious corollary: that other people also rely on you. Your actions and beliefs can make a difference locally, nationally, and even globally. Have you considered the ways others depend on you?

Related questions:  What are our responsibilities to others? What makes a community? How much power does an individual have?

3 thoughts on “How Do You Depend On Others?”

  1. While there are aspects of my life where I am self-sufficient, these are dwarfed by examples of dependence. We live in a complex world. As is often said: “No [one] is an island.”

    The following are just a handful of ways I am dependent on others. I am dependent on:

    • (obviously) others wearing masks, social distancing, and washing their hands so that when I encounter them (mainly inside buildings) we are taking the necessary precautions not to spread the coronavirus
    • companies, regulators, and inspectors keeping my air, food, water, and medicines safe and healthy
    • elected leaders respecting the needs of their constituents while finding ways with their colleagues to advance needed changes (e.g. a stronger social safety net, legislating and implementing the proper conditions of a fair marketplace of ideas, goods, and services that meet the needs of everyone)
    • the media fact-checking what elected leaders say and do
    • my physical and mental health doctors as well as my therapist and dentist to assist me in staying as healthy as possible
    • drivers driving responsibly
    • authors, musicians, artists, and actors to help me stay entertained when my imagination fails to keep me occupied through my own thoughts and actions
    • heirloom and open-pollinated seed savers keeping up the disciplined propagation of their seeds so I (and pollinators) can have a diversity of veggies in my garden (and then in my belly) each year
    • others being truthful in what they say and write

    I could list so many more ways I am dependent on others, but I look forward to what others have to say.

  2. Strangers made my home and everything in it, including the food, all of which ultimately comes from mother nature. I contribute to some businesses by purchasing their wares, and I exchange a few things with my neighbors and they count on me to maintain my property. My community expects me to live a decent life following the rules and not hurting anyone. But no person is dependent on me to provide for them in any great way. Do plants count?

  3. Another thought provoking question. Thank you Lee and Michael. First I depend on my spouse for so much I’m embarrassed to admit it. People who know us tell me what a lucky guy I am. As a Catholic Christian, I thank God and depend on Her for everything I can think of, including my existence, my “daily bread”, my family, friends, community, country.
    “Honor thy father and thy mother”. Where would I be without them?

    And then there’s the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, my teachers, ministers/nuns, co-workers and bosses, etc. etc.

    Who depends on me? Right now I’m working with my church and a group called Isaiah Minnesota to welcome immigrants to our state and make sure they are treated as our neighbors. And closer to home, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters need a grandpa they can count on.

    I’m reminded of Carole King’s song, “You’ve Got a Friend” and I aspire to be a good one, not only to friends but strangers as well.

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