Establishing your independence as an individual is difficult. Achieving it with a group of people is extraordinary. There’s no hack, no short cut, no easy route for the group to take so that it may disassociate itself from other groups and stand alone – together.

To succeed the group must:

  • Earn autonomy together
  • Build individualism together
  • Succeed in self-supporting itself

The paradox is severely brilliant: Independence juxtaposed with unity.

Can a group of growingly diverse people be independent together? That question is answered every day when members of that group:

  • Stay focused on a shared vision of what’s possible for the group.
  • Deeply respect – even honor – the other members of the group.
  • Discover (and then discover again) why their collective independence should be cherished.

The paradox of independence in contrast with unity brings palpable tension. Each generation, new to the strain, often believes the conflict is new or a sign that independence together is no longer possible.

Of course, the tension is not novel; the strain between these two ideals is what has forged the group’s existence from the beginning. However, the new generation is wise to ponder: Is it possible to continue?

If new generations fail to answer that question in the affirmative, the members of the group commit to a path of mutual self-destruction. It is the inheritance of the new generation, therefore, to do as their mothers and fathers did: continue.

  • Continue to shape and share a vision for the group
  • Continue to deeply respect and honor others in the group.
  • And continue to discover again why their collective independence should be cherished.

This is not easy work for the new generation. It wasn’t for the prior generation, either.

However, it’s necessary. And it’s worth it: Independence together.

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