Independence Day was fun. I loved a mind-blowing encounter when Will Smith claws out of his jettisoned fighter jet seat in the desert to stomp, smash talk over to an alien craft to reach the craft and hit the alien in the “face?”, light up his cigar and unload the swag.
All by himself. Alone, out in the desert.
We love this American Ideal in the first pathfinders, mountain men, cowboys, and single moms making a go against overwhelming odds.
Happy Fourth of July. Independence Day!
Except, the original Independence Day was a frightening set of promises given by men to each other. They amazingly displayed interdependence by charting the course of a not-yet-birthed country with ideals binding us together even now. Some died. Many lost everything. They made themselves targets.
What would become These United States declared its independence from England and a tyrannical king. That is the independence, and some of that swag belongs to each and every American.
But the “swag” that keeps us winning, growing, failing and learning together is that interdependence. We do so together.
Shivering men sneaked up on Hessian Mercenaries on a freezing Christmas Night, some barefooted, almost none with sufficient clothing depended on each other crossing the Delaware.
Each fought for the man next to him.
No other American said it better than Martin Luther King, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Alabama 1963.
Will Smith ejected from a fighter built by tens of thousands, bankrolled by hundreds of millions, after he was trained for more than a million dollars by thousands, and backed by thousands of people helping him track the alien. Interdependence is still how we do it.
Do not miss this. We stand independent, not under any king’s or tyrant’s thumb. Independence.
But we will continue, we hand this dream to our children, we flourish as we admit and hold up our interdependence, our faith that together we overcome. I would add, with a profound dependence on God and His enduring Providence.
When Will pulled out the cigar and lit up, we all together, celebrated that silly moment because we learned to celebrate together, Yorktown, Appomattox, The Battle of Midway impossible without the courageous sacrifice of torpedo bombers, and 130,000 others resting deep beneath white crosses and stars of David in ten countries … who all died not knowing the outcome of the battles where they gave their lives, for the man or woman next to them. Then for you. For me.
Interdependence fuels our Independence, or we vanish from the face of this earth as lesser civilizations did.