Within the last century, as a result of globalization, communities have become more connected, and consequently more dependent on each other. Interdependence is part of every sector of society, and on an individual level part of every aspect of my life: whether it is food that I eat, the education I receive, or the healthcare that is available to me. Interdependence involves every living being on this planet, including the planet itself – though not every individual might consciously recognize that they are a part in the web of interdependence. I believe Parker Palmer explained it in an eloquent manner: interdependence means that individuals are “dependent on and accountable to one another” (as referred to on the Global Solidarity and Local Actions website). Specifically the accountability is an important factor to consider. Individuals are not only responsible for issues in their own communities, but through the web of interdependence also for issues in other communities that individuals indirectly contribute to. As a result of this interdependence, injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.
Throughout my life, I have become a product of this web of interdependence, as I have been influenced by various cultures, communities, places, and peoples. First of all, having grown up in the Netherlands, I believe Dutch culture has been partly influenced by its colonial past, trade (in goods, but also trade in ideas), and European integration. Besides interdependence in the Netherlands, I have been influenced by many cultures and peoples after coming to the United States for college. I think through learning from another, and with one another, I have become more interdependent. Additionally, through study abroad experiences, I have further interacted with different communities in different places, from Bologna, Italy to various places in India. All these experiences have made me realize how every living being is involved in the web of interdependence – perhaps even more than I have ever realized, or will ever be able to comprehend.