What is Interdependence? It’s a simple idea, though often difficult to realize. Interdependence is living together peaceably and respectfully in the post-communist, post-Cold War period as local, regional and global citizens in this increasingly interconnected world. Communication and the Internet are bringing people closer together, to transcend hatred, prejudice, resentment and fear of the “other”.
Interdependence means transforming our energies toward coexistence through collaboration, cooperation and coming together to solve local, regional and global challenges that face our world. Through creative means and critical thinking, we can narrow the gap between the privileged and the poor, between the powerful and the undeserved, and build bridges between our cultural, religious, economic, and political differences. Interdependence is living with the consciousness that we have the power to achieve more when we are together, than alone. To learn more about interdependence, see The Interdependence Handbook.
What is Interdependence Day?
Interdependence Day was launched in Philadelphia on September 12, 2003. The date was deliberately chosen as a post 9/11 symbol of regeneration, as a time to reflect on the tragedy of the incidents of terror, not only in the United States, but all over the world, and to ask ourselves “What next?” It seemed critically important to acknowledge the inevitability and significance of interdependence in our time, and set out to build constructively and culturally a global civic society.
Since the launching event in Philadelphia in 2003, there have been major Interdependence Day observances in Rome and Paris, along with Philadelphia and in communities and on campuses around the world, including Scranton, which has celebrated Interdependence Day since 2006. The commemoration is organized by a planning committee comprised of volunteers from the cultural community, the secondary and higher education community, local civic groups, religious groups, local libraries, county government and many others.
A Call to Action
Civic, cultural, educational, and religious organizations all over the world are increasingly taking the lead in strengthening democracy and promoting a culture of interdependence. To paraphrase Rabbi Tarfone, in the Pirke Aboth, “we are not required to complete the work, but neither are we free to desist from it”. Together we can promote interdependence by using our creative and critical skills, our intellect and imagination, creativity and compassion, our dynamism and inspiration, and most importantly our will.