• Define Independent

    Posted by deann-r on February 25, 2022 at 8:00 am

    Did you know Alexa has 23 definitions for the word independent? I don’t have the time or patience to listen to them all. The inquiry, prompted by a recent comment, has me questioning my own level of independence. Although I live in a house to myself, there’s a lot I can’t do. Can you consider yourself independent when you rely on so many others to meet your needs? How about those who share a space. Can you be considered independent if you live with your parents? I’m saying yes, you don’t have to have 100% independence to still be independent. What are your thoughts?

    When I try to think of the most independent person on the planet, no one comes straight to mind. Maybe Oprah? If you’re known by just one name, you must be independent right? Well, even Oprah has an entourage. Heck, it’s widely known her best friend Gail is one of her biggest supporters. So, what makes her independent? You can’t tell me she got to where she’s at entirely on her own. Maybe it’s that she knows what she wants and goes after it. She probably knows who and when to ask for help. Throw in a lot of talent, hard work and a little luck and you have Oprah.

    Now, I don’t claim to even be on the same playing field as Oprah, but I do know what I want and go after it. Although I don’t always know the right people, eventually I get there. That’s how I acquired the Jaco. With it I have more independence. Yes, because I can do more stuff on my own with it. More importantly though, because I went for it. Because of my talent, hard work and a little luck I made it happen. Let’s not forget my entourage. It wouldn’t have happened without them.

    I don’t think anyone can claim to be 100% independent. Independence is something that we can all strive for though. We can all be successful at it too. It all depends on what definition you’re going by. How do you define Independent?

    nikki replied 2 years, 3 months ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • alyssa-silva

    February 25, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Before I even read it, I was going to say I look at independence as knowing what you want and chasing after it. I guess because I’m completely physically dependent on others, I define independence as more of a mindset. But you’re absolutely right. No one on this planet is completely and totally independent. We all have a Gail (or many Gails) in our lives!

  • lupa-f

    February 25, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    There’s the famous Craig T. Nelson (the actor from Coach/Parenthood) quote that applies here to how people think of independence differently: “I’ve been on foodstamps and welfare, did anyone help me out? No.”

    I think of independence sort of more along the lines of what defines disability: can I do basic life functions without someone else’s help, like eating, sleeping, hygiene. If I can’t do those basic things alone I don’t consider it being independent. Now obviously, someone else created the food that I eat or provides the water to my apartment, but using that as a definition of independence reduces the idea down to being useless because then nobody who participates in society could be considered independent.


  • anna

    February 27, 2022 at 5:29 am

    “No man is an island entire of itself” right? I think the key is to reach the level of independence you’re happy with, although it’s human nature to always seek for more. My main problem is I don’t always have the guts and stamina to chase after what I want! Other than that, I consider myself pretty independent. I am responsible for my own affairs since I was twelve, from private lessons to doctors’ appointments. I guess I have to thank mom for that, whose typical response to people approaching her about me was “figure it out with Anna”. It sucked back then, but it paid off later! Now I have my own job and I am financially independent too. I still live with my parents, but I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t interfere with my privacy. Do I want more? Sure! For instance, I’d love to be able to go out for dinner without having to be accompanied by someone who knows how to provide my care. I don’t see it happening any time soon though…

  • nikki

    March 13, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Independence to me is handling my own affairs and obligations of my own recognizance. I have many sets of hands that help me, as a lot of us do. But I don’t believe that subtracts from my independence. They are not thinking for me, deciding for me nor problem solving for me. So I suppose independence for me is being able to think for myself, decide for myself and problem solve for myself. If I’m reaching for the resources to help me solve a problem, it still was my own first initial decision to think aha! There must be a resource for that, let me go look for it.

    But all of you wonderful ladies are correct, none of us are truly ever alone, disabled or not. We all need each other at some level

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