: freedom from outside control or support
archaic: competence
: the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control




Independent (adj.): 1620s from in “not opposite of” + dependent.

Related Word: Dependent (adj.): late 14th century of persons from 1580s, from French dépendre, “to hang from, hang down,” from Latin dependere.



“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

Ralph Ellison (1914-1994, American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer, best known for his novel, the “Invisible Man,” which won the National Book Award in 1953)

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“I will not be ‘famous,’ ‘great.’ I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.”

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, one of the foremost English modernist writers of the twentieth century)

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“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid ... Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic and political activist)

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“How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”

Anais Nin (1903-1977, author born and raised in France to Cuban parents; spent time in Spain and Cuba, but lived most of her life in the US where se became an established author.)

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“Marriage is a fine institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.”

Mae West (Mary Jane West, 1893-1980, American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades)

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“When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.”

Warren Farrell (b. 1943, age 72, American educator, activist and author of seven books on men’s and women’s issues)

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“The proverb warns that, 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.”

Thomas Stephen Szasz (1920-2012, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and academic, who served as professor of psychiatry at the SUNY’s medical university in Syracuse.)

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“It's not radical Islam that worries the US -- it's independence

Noam Chomsky (b. 1928, age 86, American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator, social justice activist, and anarcho-syndicalist advocate)

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“The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.”

Joseph Heller (1923-1999, American author, playwright, anti-war activist, and satirical novelist who wrote “Catch-22,” which is considered one of the most significant works of postwar protest literature.)

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“When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.”

Thomas Paine (1737-1809, English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary)

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In order to be an independent operator and sovereign luminous being one has to dare to be courageous in loving.

Glancing at the biographies of the thought-leaders and authors of today’s quotes, it becomes clear that they were such independent and fearless revolutionaries, who did not shy away from the opposition. They knew their missions, which were to forge paths toward further truths.

How many of us, out of survival, succumb to what others want us to be, losing our independence and offering up soul parts for sale.

We were born to be creative outliers ready to give voice to our uniqueness perspectives.

Since we are all shifting our consciousness towards Unity, in addition to sustaining our independence, we must also work interdependently. And we can do this if we stop viewing those who are different as the “other” and start listening.

In Deepak Chopra’s book, The Book of Secrets – Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life, Chopra asks his readers to do a few exercises. One such exercise has to do with Acceptance. He suggests writing down 5 good qualities of a person one may dislike. In addition, Chopra also recommends reading about a group one considers totally intolerant to “try to see the world as they do.”

It was a challenging exercise, but I had a few moments of lucidity.   Although I disagree and dislike a particular person, deep down I really love that person. And even though I may not agree with opinions of a group I find intolerable, I can begin once I work through all the emotions, to understand better that group’s point of view.

Some of my best friends are those I have had the toughest and most emotional fights and arguments. And sometimes we both had to walk away and not talk for a while. But, do you know what happens during the cooling-off period? We came back to the table and talked again, building paths towards reconciliation.

To be an independent loving and tolerant luminous being is not a safe path, but it is the righteous one, and a huge step in our evolution.

Like Ralph Ellison so wisely wrote, “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

But, we need others to bestow upon us the keys to unlock the unforeseen doors and prison gates as well.

Faithfully Yours, Tonya


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