Can a Person Be Too Independent?

September 29, 2014

When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see a woman being so dependent on her husband that she could not function on her own. If she was having trouble with her car, she wasn’t the one who made the arrangements with a mechanic to fix it. When income tax time rolled around, it was her husband who took care of it. There were no credit cards at that time but there were other debts that the man of the house handled. Women were not expected to know anything about finance, technology, healthcare, or investments.

And then the Feminist movement swept the nation and women wanted to be free of the chains that bind; they wanted to divorce their husbands and be free to explore their new options.

The only thing that no one told them was that with freedom comes responsibility, and that responsibility includes fiscal responsibility. They went from handling nothing of great import to having to handle everything. And, little by little, they learned to rely on themselves. They learned to be independent.

Many women went back to school; some took jobs for the first time in their lives, and some even went back to their husbands because they couldn’t handle the financial insecurity.

If we look at a pendulum, we see it swinging from one side to the other, back and forth, back and forth. And that’s what happened with women. They went from complete dependence on men to becoming totally independent. But did the pendulum swing too far to the side?

As with all things in the universe, there needs to be a balance in our lives. Too much water and we have floods; too little water and we have drought. Too much government and we have a dictatorship; too little government and we have anarchy. Too much dependence and we have a society of needy people who can’t function on their own. Too much independence and we deprive ourselves from learning from others and working with others.

The time has come for us to recognize that we need each other. It’s good to know how to do things for ourselves, and we should do whatever we can to help ourselves, but it’s also good to know when we should ask for help and when we should accept help. We need to strive for that healthy balance in our lives.

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