Independence is confident self-reliance. We have the courage to see reality with our own eyes and not through the eyes of others. We dare to be our true selves. We make decisions without undue influence from others. We responsibly care for ourselves. We enjoy intimacy without enmeshment. We do not depend on another to define our value or lose ourselves to love. We bring ourselves fully to a relationship yet honor the boundaries that protect each other’s dignity. We stand on our own holy ground.

In Family Life

The virtue of independence within a family is exemplified by fostering an environment where each member is encouraged to develop their autonomy and self-reliance while maintaining a sense of unity and support. It is demonstrated by allowing children to make age-appropriate decisions and learn from their experiences, teaching them crucial life skills, and instilling a sense of responsibility for their actions.

Parents should also respect each family member’s individuality, opinions, and personal space, allowing them to pursue their interests and goals. Independence within a family is a delicate balance between nurturing self-sufficiency and maintaining close emotional bonds, ensuring every member can confidently navigate life’s challenges while feeling loved and connected within the familial unit.


If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

— Henry David Thoreau

 The Practice of Virtue

  • I think for myself.
  • I am fully myself.
  • I trust my own decisions.
  • I enjoy healthy self-care.
  • I do not burden my relationships with unrealistic expectations.
  • I balance intimacy with self-reliance.

Balancing Independence

Let’s identify the virtues that help maintain an equilibrium of independence.

      • Cooperation: Cooperation relies on others to strengthen bonds and achieve collective success. It’s the recognition that we are all interconnected, and together, we can achieve more than we could alone.
      • Confidence: Having confidence in one’s abilities and judgments allows individuals to maintain their autonomy within relationships, express their needs and desires, and contribute to partnerships as whole, self-reliant individuals.

By integrating these virtues into our lives, we can harness the strength of independence while nurturing meaningful relationships and personal growth.