Less than a week ago my Country, Trinidad and Tobago, celebrated 49 years of Independence as a nation, yet even as we celebrated our Independence we were in the midst of a State of Emergency. As I understand it, a State of Emergency removes the rights of the citizens and gives all power to the ruling authority through its armed forces to enact or uphold law and order.

Our situation seems ironic. I have heard through the Social Media sites and the News Media many opinions of agreement and disagreement for the move to a State of Emergency by our leaders. This action was prompted by the increased spate of violent crimes and senseless murders within our Twin Island State of 1.3 million people.

In my own reflection on what it means to be Independent I split the word into two parts In and Dependant. I am fully aware of what the prefix In does with the word Dependent in the context of grammar but there seems something significant about the two elements of this word Independent and the maintaining of Independence.

It seems that we must remain dependent on others and in the context of a society on each other, to uphold law and order which would ensure that the freedoms and civility of our Society is maintained. We have to work together to establish and maintain a state of Independence, of being free. Freedom without responsibility to and for my actions, attitudes and behaviors leads to a state of anarchy which has led in the instance of my Country to a restriction of freedoms.

When I look at myself as an Independent woman, I am forced to acknowledge my dependency upon many factors, the nurturing and upbringing of my parents, the wonderful teachers and education system, friends, employers, mentors, and above all my dependency upon God, that has shaped me and enabled me to stand proud today to say that I am an Independent Woman. Maintaining this Independence depends on many factors as well, being able to adequately provide for myself financially, to maintain a good state of mental and physical health, the capacity to be a continuous learner, all of these things would require my dependence on some factor outside of my Independent self.

Perhaps then to be Independent in its truest form is to be responsibly Dependent. Perhaps in taking responsibility for myself, my environment, my social behaviors,  my very freedom to be and to live as a citizen of the planet  as I depend on others to do the same, I maintain my Independence.

I continue to ponder on this and to remain BIG (Believing In God) as I acknowledge my Dependency!