The perception of independence seems a complex idea that needs careful analysis. Can a person truly be independent? Perhaps in one way or another, but not in an absolute state.
Working and earning for myself and providing for my personal needs could qualify for independence. However, the ramifications of being able to work indicate being in a state of collaborating with other people in the organization to deliver the task. I need the support of the secretary to organize meetings and send a communication with families at the school, the teachers to implement the program we are advocating, and all the other people with skill-specific jobs. No matter how grand my goals are, I could not attain them without the support of the different systems around me.
With the ups and downs that each day brings, I need an emotional anchor where I can share frustrations, difficulties, and fears. I also seek to share joy and excitement to celebrate my successes. Sometimes, there is one person I particularly want to share an emotion – my daughter, siblings, mom, friend or fiance. I could not imagine suppressing my feelings especially the negative emotions that beset me. Even though these people plainly listen to my tribulations, the act by itself is already an affirmation of support.
Living in a country where I could hardly speak the language, I need people to support translating and communicating to go about the motions of each day. Without these supports, I would not be able to pay bills, have access to services nor seek appropriate help.
Big or small, simple or complex, the amount of support I get all contribute to my existence. The needs are met with varying degrees. Every inch of support that I receive completes my well-being and makes me look forward to each day knowing that I am not alone.
But what if…
I do not have a family? How can I process challenging emotions? I would not look forward to holidays anymore when I can spend time with family, eat and talk about a good meal, seek personal advice, and engage in the simple act of giving and receiving. My emotional needs would not be supported in the absence of my family. Losing out on emotional support can also affect my capability to perform other tasks. The web in my system would be disconnected and could potentially affect all the other components of my well-being.
In Tim Gunn’s words,
Gunn, T. (n.d). Support Quotes. Brainy Quotes. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/support.html#thWUUQVo3RkUv6OM.99v6OM. 99