Yup, I am going to be a contrarian in my Albertaness today. That is this whole meta-mythos of the Protestant Work Ethic- Pull yourself up by your own boot straps- Independence jig is a fallacy. A meta-fallacy if you will. It has led to many issues in western society. What type of issues come to mind for me is just how we interact at the family level.
There is this thing called “L-O-V-E”; but it can be so widely defined. There are those that will unknowingly or knowingly define love transactionally. That is in line with this idea of “independence” or “Capitalism-pure” where everything becomes a commodity and where and emotion like love, or an action like compassion needs to be earned (in the Western Christian Theos this resounds with the newer take of Christ’s death on the cross because of vengeful God demanding blood for “sin”; love can only be gained through a transaction, and in this case that transaction of love is the death of God’s son in place of us–and since Western Society since the time of Constantine leveraged the Christ narrative for control it permeates throughout). Other things though, engagement rings; weddings; grad presents; sweet sixteen; children’s birthday parties; remember the bidding wars over Tickle Me Elmos?
Each an instance in which love is judged via a commodity. Even if a relative comes to stay for a vacation or move in for a spell, and the homeowner needing money for increased expenses can be leveraged to be seen in the eyes of some through transactional love as an act of “you don’t love me” or “you don’t get family” instead of what it is: this is a household where we work together and as such a new adult (or adults with kids/pets) requires more money to keep it going (especially in Alberta where food costs have risen 10% conservatively)– the idea of in it together was seen most notably during the Fur Trade in Canada’s beginnings.
Now I am not condoning behaviours, but historically the Metis Nation (this is the traditional definition of French/Aboriginal mix) was crafted because of the Roman Catholic Church’s communal response that kept all three heritages going into this one new nation within Canada.
That is the true society context one needs to understand: Interdependence.
We are a society that needs many types to keep society running: labourers-white collar-trades-human services-scholars-artists-and front line store staff, etc… just think about it. Everything we do requires a village of talents, treasures, and time to make sure it runs smoothly.
This is our world, this is interdependence. It proves that one cannot pull themselves up, it proves that independence is not healthy, but rather isolating (the rise of social media and the rise of depression/anxiety through isolation I do not think are coincidental).
Oh and for that huge transactional love theos around the cross, read the whole Gospel. Jesus of Nazareth was a labourer, supported by a step-dad, an encouraging mother who taught him his faith, journeyed with friends, teaching society to live differently, to throw of the shackles of labels, to open up community to one another, to care for the whole person, to realize we are in this life together and as such we need to work and play together.
Hmmm…. this is where love and compassion are to come out of.
Which do you believe society needs to grow healthy. Is it TRUE: Independence or Interdependence?