By Abigail Bassac
Translation Louise Thunin
At first sight, everyone is always seeking it. As a woman, financial independence is especially important to me, since it makes certain choices possible. Knowing how to reason and think for oneself is essential; it’s a form of independence and not the least! But does that mean we should aspire to being self-made men, who depend on nothing and no one ?
We only become capable of independence in our thinking due to the fact that on our path there were people who equipped us to think freely. Our very lives are given to us by others. And where does the flavor of our lives comes from ? We often need the point of view of another person in order to discover a passion for history, music or theology, a vocation as an artisan, a cook or a teacher. And are not the wildest projects that we dare to undertake, such as bringing a child into the world, the fruit of encounters?
It is an illusion that a human being can be independent. The wealth of our lives comes from others, those whom we allow to shake us up. A minister said to me one day: Others – there’s nothing worse, but there’s nothing better, either. » He was ever so right. When we baptize a baby, we don’t give it a choice, just as its entourage doesn’t give it a choice about being loved. By so doing, we teach the child the human condition: we are beings in need of relationships, and it is other people who make us human. The theologian Schleiermacher (1767-1834) said that piety is a « feeling of absolute dependency. » Is God Himself independent ? Woud He still be God without a human being to recognize Him as his or her God ?
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