When thinking about myself as a product of interdependence, I immediately think of Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh’s “dependent arising.” He proclaims that the whole universe can be found in a piece of paper and it can be found in us, as well. The main argument in Dependent-arising is that we suffer from the delusion that we are independent and discusses how we are intimately connected with everything else. In part, I myself have a “Dependent-arising” formed by interconnected factors such as my biology, my culture, and my privilege.
When observing the part of interdependence that calls attention to how our choices affect others and ourselves, I particularly think about the idea of privilege. Leading a privileged life means living in a society in which the amount of energy and resources I use in a day is ten times more than my body uses to stay alive. When observing how I lead my privileged life, it becomes clear that my actions directly affect others. I must be mindful of the resources I have been given and think about where they come from and how they can be honored. If I reflect on this, it is clear to see the influence of everything on my dependent arising is quite substantial.