Human Development - Independence Is The First Step

“Freedom is devotion to the best self and principles, and this is frequently disloyalty to general idols and fetishes.” cida psicologa em tubarão to my research, my experiences and my own reflections, I see human growth as a journey - a steep climb from dependence to independence to interdependence into transcendence. This lifetime journey begins at birth, when we are determined by our parents and other loved ones.

The procedure for getting physically independent is almost automatic with age. It is a natural part of growing up, and for the majority of us it comes readily. We take up jobs, move out of our parents’ houses, get married and have children - steps toward accepting responsibility for our own lives in addition to for family members that are now hooked on us. For all, our quest for liberty ends here.

But being human is not only about physical and material development. We need to develop emotionally and intellectually. Emotionally, many of us stay dependent - letting scenarios around us control our emotions. We can’t claim to be independent when we allow ordinary events - traffic jams, forgetful spouses, colleague missing deadlines at work, irrational customers - to activate feelings of anger, frustration, helplessness or despair. If we are not masters of our emotions, can we really be masters of our own destiny?

Emotional maturity or liberty isn’t about trying to control what happens to us. Rather it is about how we respond to what occurs to us. It’s freedom of choice in how we react to adverse circumstances. We can lash out, as we might have done as children, or we could choose to be reasoned and thoughtful and optimistic about moving forward.

I ask participants to invoke the feeling of ‘How Beautiful’ whenever they are in a poor position. By way of example, imagine you’re late to an important meeting because a flight was postponed. Would you encounter it like a superb moment? Can you see that as wonderful?

Most participants look at me like I am mad. “That would be just like lying to myself,” the state. “Even if I say that a situation is not so bad, it is still a bad circumstance. It doesn’t go away.” As we workshop this idea further, they concede that they’re more likely to think of creative responses when they’re in a fantastic mood than when they’re angry and angry. They also see how a bothersome situation might actually be an excellent opportunity to learn something new or generate some creative thoughts. I’m going to try it…”

Moving on to cognitive development, de Tocqueville remarked on how Americans have little independence of mind but so much freedom of conversation. I really don’t think this lack of liberty in thought is unique to Americans. It’s a global phenomenon.

Starting from our schooldays, we’re educated answers to questions we do not have. We are led to believe that there is 1 correct answer and that there is some expert somewhere who has figured it out. As we grow into adults, we’re brainwashed by the media, the promotion messages and the political propaganda; we live in the comfort of never needing to exercise our intellect. In the Middle Ages, religion forced humanity to some set of beliefs. In today’s times, we accept the supposed wisdom of scientists and pseudo-scientists - like economists - without much question.