Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Look Back at Independence, A Look Forward to Interdependence

Photo via Asia Society

According to Stephen Covey there is a Maturity Continuum that moves from “dependence” to “independence” and then to “interdependence.”  Just as this continuum is important for human beings in individual development, it is an important continuum for countries as well.  Countries must progress through the stages from dependent, to independent, and interdependent just like people.  As we become more globally interdependent, countries which have a long history of independence, may find that transition to interdependence easier to make.  In the United States we are all familiar with July 4th, but are you as familiar with September 16th?

In Mexico, on September 16, 1810, the “Cry of Independence” was uttered in the small town of Dolores.  This event marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.  A Roman Catholic priest, Hidalgo, led the Revolution until his death, and his role in Mexican Independence is as celebrated as the role of Washington in the United States. 

Photo via
Each year on the 15th and 16th of September, celebrations occur across Mexico as well as in cities around the world.  In Mexico City, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace and then repeats the cry of patriotism which is based on Hidalgo’s original proclamation.  He then reads the names of important Mexican War of Independence heroes, ending with the threefold shout of “Viva México!” from the palace balcony.  The bell is then rung again and the crowd of onlookers joins in singing the National Anthem.  There are also patriotic programs, marching bands, competitions, and special programs to mark this anniversary date.  This celebration is replicated in the embassies and consulates worldwide. 

Photo via
As Americans, we need to embrace the celebrations that are held to celebrate Mexican Independence.  Being independent is certainly necessary in order to survive, but most importantly, it is a necessary step on the way to being interdependent.  For example, the Island of Mauritius which is located off the coast of Africa.  Mauritius has been controlled by the Dutch, the French and the English before becoming independent.  However, it is in interdependence that the small island has found its strength.  An ethnically diverse country, one official commented, “We are like a fruit salad.  We all work together but maintain our individual flavors.”  This is the perfect definition of interdependence and one that can only be arrived at by first being independent. 

So congratulations to Mexico on its 202 year history of independence!  Viva Mexico!  Viva Independence! On to interdependence!

How are you celebrating Mexico's independence in the classroom? Leave a comment below and we'll share your ideas with our Twitter and Facebook friends.

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