Editor: Interdependence Day was launched in Philadelphia at the American Philosophical Society on Sept. 12, 2003 as a thoughtful response to 9/11 — a time to reflect on the realities of interdependence, both negative and positive; a time to rededicate ourselves to actions that reflect those realities — that we who inhabit this planet are better served by caring for each other.
Is that naïve, in the wake of 9/11, and the serial acts of terror that we’ve seen since? I don’t think so. Given our options, isn’t it more sane to work toward understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect than to put a fine point on our blaming and hating?
The realities of interdependence are best understood by environmentalists. They know our actions in Scranton affect negatively the rain forests in Brazil. It’s true not only of our use and abuse of the physical environment; it’s true in the social, political and cultural spheres as well.
Scranton takes Interdependence Day seriously. Indeed, September has become Interdependence Month here. Civic, cultural, educational and religious organizations conducted a number of creative and inspiring projects to bring the message to people of all ages and backgrounds. We hope to be a model for other communities and will work on that in the coming year. I thank the many people who put Interdependence Day on their institutional calendars and inspired thousands by their actions.
Now let’s integrate the awareness of the civic responsibility that comes with acknowledging the realities of interdependence into our everyday behavior. Whether our inspiration is religious or civic, self-interested or altruistic, or all the above, let’s act in conscience and help those in our local community to enjoy the benefits of living in the richest and most democratic country in the world, and reach beyond the city, state and nation to ensure the rights of all men and women to enjoy the privileges that we do.
Interdependence is the reality, not the dream. My hope is that we as citizens will act accordingly.
September 12, 2007