What Does Independence Mean?

This morning, as I sat in our back yard on a beautiful eighty-three-degree day, I read a blog post by John that asked this question. As I felt the cool breeze caress my legs and heard my next door neighbor try many times and finally succeed in starting his lawn mower, I pondered this question but couldn’t come up with an answer. 

One thing I’ve learned about independence over the years is that sometimes, in order to be independent, you have to ask for help. When I attended the Arizona State School for the Deaf & Blind in Tucson, I was taught what I call the eleventh commandment. “Thou shalt not ask for help.” The twelfth commandment was, “Thou shalt do it yourself.” It took me many years to unlearn these commandments. Now, I own my own house and care for my totally blind partially paralyzed husband at home. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish any of this if I couldn’t ask for help.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

5 thoughts on “What Does Independence Mean?

  1. Hi Abbie,

    This post really made me think of all the things for which I am grateful.  Where would we all be if we had nobody to turn to when we need help?  Glad you overcame the stricture of "Thou shalt not ask."


  2. Hi, Abbie. 
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and taking the time to comment. 
    I wanted to let you know how much your post on Independence touched me. Your courage and strength are inspiring. 


    As someone who has a strong faith in God, and a forgetful nature that often neglects to depend on Him and ask Him for help, this post hits straight to the heart. And of course, we are all in this together, and should be freely asking for – and giving – help every single day. 

    I look forward to reading more of you. Thank you for sharing. 



  3. I love this post. I used to think that askinf for help meant I was weak. Now, I find that asking for help is not a bad thing and offering help is a good think. I like for people to accept my help, so I believe they like to help me.

    I like your new blog.

  4. Hi Glenda, I also like to help others when I can. Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you like this blog. Please check back often. I try to update at least once a week.

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