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What does independence mean to you?

Wong Shu Lee  


  August 14, 2021

As Merdeka Day, a.k.a. the Independence Day is approaching, today we want to discuss a rather philosophical topic: what does independence mean to you? 


The Cambridge Dictionary defines independence as: 



The word has many meanings and connects with people for different reasons. Many relate the word ‘independence’ with the word ‘freedom’. Being independent, whether for a country or for individuals, means can be who they are, say what they want to say, do what they want to do, and believe what they want without the influence or command of someone else. 


However, it also carries the weight of responsibilities. Being able to control your own life is power, but you have to take responsibility for your actions and be aware of the consequences of each action you take. 


Independence is not something that we can ask from others, it’s something we need to earn. 


Responsibility is a crucial part of independence because it is a risk and a magnetic force. Taking it means to be fully aware of your actions and the reason for them and what the consequences are. You have to stand behind each of your decisions no matter they turn out right or wrong. Only when you can openly be honest about your decisions, then, you have accomplished responsibility. 


Only when you can trust yourself and be responsible for what you speak and what you do, other people can. By then, you are independent. 


When we truly understand the meaning of independence, we wouldn’t simply blame others. 


With that being said, there are many things in life that are beyond our control, such as diseases like this Covid-19 pandemic, deaths in the family, and some financial failures. However, even in such situations, instead of blaming the disease or blaming the government, it is more important to quickly adapt yourself to the situation. 


In life, there are many challenges. They keep on changing and innovating. So, it’s your choice whether to stay idle and point fingers at others when you can’t achieve what you want or to spend more time reading and learning new skills to prepare yourself for new challenges every day. 


We are blessed because we are born and raised in an independent country. Let’s practice the essence of independence and be proud of being a truly independent person! 


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