Many of us take pride in our independence whether it is our ability to walk on our own or be able to make it on our own financially in the world. This level of individual success deserves to be honored, but does it define us? Does independence mean I am a sovereign island unto myself?

If we hold onto our independence too tight, then we will not be able to give of our self. More importantly, we will lose opportunities to share with and in others’ talents and abilities, to create something greater than our self. Independence should not take away from the “we” perspective, which is the recognition of interdependence, and the greater goal of unity.

As life gets complex, the importance of support increases. Advances in science have also helped us conclude that a species is likely to survive and thrive if they are cooperative, communicative, connected and mutually accommodating. It has been consistently demonstrated that people with a strong support network and sense of community live longer, are less vulnerable to illness, and tend to live happier and more fulfilling lives. What we are able to achieve as a family, society, country…the sum of the collective is greater than the individual!

We primarily isolate ourselves from others, as we lack the powers to tolerate them; we often expect to receive first, rather than to give. However, as meditators, the more we are at peace in our own inner island, the more happiness we generate and hence, feel confident in being with others. We learn to make our mind our own best friend before trying to make others our best friend.

In this multifarious world in which we value independence, the truly independent cooperate, communicate and connect. They appreciate those from whom they take support and care for those who need their support. If we can only remember long enough that in fact this whole world is one big island that we share. If we can remove all the borders and limitations, then there won't be any boundaries to cross!

Om Shanti (I am a peaceful soul)

Contributed by Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization. Please visit or call 617-926-1230 to learn more about the Brahma Kumaris Learning Center for Peace in Watertown, MA.