Sunday, 28 November 2021


Today, the Republic of Panama celebrates the bicentennial anniversary of independence from Spain. A few weeks earlier, on 3 November, Panama celebrated Separation Day, which commemorates independence from Colombia. These separations are noted in the logo that Panama is using in its bicentennial celebration. The Spanish flag colors blend into those of Colombia and finally into Panama’s national flag colors.

Independence is a natural yearning. Everyone, everything wants and needs independence. From the moment we are born, we are on the path to independence. Erik and Joan Erikson collaborated in the human development theory known as psycho-social development. This 20th century theory gained widespread acceptance for its practical and immediate application to human life. In other words, the theory of the proposed eight stages of development seemed to match reality and so the Erikson stage theory became very popular among laity even while it was only one of several theories of human development.

Stage Two, according to the Eriksons involves a period of self-doubt/dependence versus independence. Read what is presented below and see for yourself that you very likely went through this period successfully or unsuccessfully. Parents will note this stage as a difficult stage that requires tons of patience!

  • Toilet training plays a major role; learning to control one’s body functions leads to a feeling of control and a sense of independence.
  • Other important events include gaining more control over food choices, toy preferences, and clothing selection. 
  • Kids in this stage of development often feel the need to do things independently, such as picking out what they will wear each day, putting on their own clothes, and deciding what they will eat. While this can often be frustrating for parents and caregivers, it is an important part of developing a sense of self-control and personal autonomy.

Societies, nations, and cultures also desire independence. In fact, world history seems to be a story of constant struggle for independence. Biblical history makes the claim that Adam and Eve fell to the urge for independence and this narrative reflects both the reason for order and disorder. God created all as dependent on a created and right order and the break for independence resulted in a sort of chaos. Human history is the story of seeking independence for good or for bad.

In 1985 President Jimmy Carter published a book called The Blood of Abraham: Insights into the Middle East. It was well-received in its day as an insightful way of understanding the Middle East Conflict and how a solution to it might be found. From a biblical perspective, Carter attempted to show how Patriarch Abraham’s blood flowed through the veins of all parties which were part and parcel of the conflict. Carter’s point was that independence for any party was essential to each party’s survival and that none in the conflict would ever be independent if they weren’t all independent.

Of course, the Middle East is not a particular epicenter of conflict for independence. It’s not just a special commemoration in the United States of America or of Mexico, but a worldwide tapestry of celebrations. As indebted as I am to the compiler of the list below, it remains to be said that it is incomplete, so powerful is the quest for independence. Just this month Barbados became completely independent from the British Monarch and thus was established as a republic with its own head of state.

1AfghanistanAugust 19
2AlbaniaNovember 28
3AlgeriaJuly 5
4AngolaNovember 11
5AnguillaMay 30
6Antigua and BarbudaNovember 1
7ArgentinaJuly 9
8ArmeniaMay 28
10AustriaOctober 26
11AzerbaijanMay 28
12Bahamas, TheJuly 10
13BahrainDecember 16
14BangladeshMarch 26
15BarbadosNovember 30
16BelarusJuly 3
17BelgiumJuly 21
18BelizeSeptember 21
19BeninAugust 1
20BoliviaAugust 6
21Bosnia and HerzegovinaMarch 1
22BotswanaSeptember 30
23BrazilSeptember 7
24BruneiJanuary 1
25BulgariaMarch 3
26Burkina FasoAugust 5
27BurundiJuly 1
28CambodiaNovember 9
29CameroonJanuary 1
30CanadaJuly 1
31Cape VerdeJuly 5
32Central African RepublicAugust 13
33ChadAugust 11
34ChileSeptember 18
36ColombiaJuly 20 and August 7
37ComorosJuly 6
38Congo, Democratic Republic of theJune 30
39Congo, Republic of theAugust 15
40Costa RicaSeptember 15
41Côte d’IvoireAugust 7
42CroatiaOctober 8
43CubaJanuary 1
44CyprusOctober 1
45Czech RepublicOctober 28
46DjiboutiJune 27
47DominicaNovember 3
48Dominican Republic27-Feb
49East TimorMay 20
50EcuadorAugust 10
51El SalvadorSeptember 15
52Equatorial GuineaOctober 12
53EritreaMay 24
54EstoniaFebruary 24
55EswatiniSeptember 6
56FijiOctober 10
57FinlandDecember 6
59GabonAugust 17
60Gambia, TheFebruary 18
61GeorgiaMay 26 and April 9
63GhanaMarch 6
64GreeceMarch 25
65GrenadaFebruary 7
66GuatemalaSeptember 15
67GuineaOctober 2
68Guinea-BissauSeptember 24
69GuyanaMay 26
70HaitiJanuary 1
71HondurasSeptember 15
72Hong KongJuly 1
75IndiaAugust 15
76IndonesiaAugust 17
77IraqOctober 3
78IrelandApril 24
79Israel(On or between April 15 and May 15, depending on the Hebrew calendar).
80JamaicaAugust 6
81JordanMay 25
82KazakhstanDecember 16
83KenyaDecember 12
84KiribatiJuly 12
85PDRK (North Korea)August 15
86Republic of Korea (South Korea)March 1
87KosovoFebruary 17
88KuwaitFebruary 25
89KyrgyzstanAugust 31
90LaosOctober 22
91LatviaNovember 18
92LebanonNovember 22
93LesothoOctober 4
94LiberiaJuly 26
95LibyaDecember 24
96LithuaniaFebruary 16
97MacauDecember 20
98MadagascarJune 26
99MalawiJuly 6
100MalaysiaAugust 31
101MaldivesJuly 26
102MaliSeptember 22
103MaltaSeptember 21
104MauritaniaNovember 28
105MauritiusMarch 12
106MexicoSeptember 16
107MoldovaAugust 27
108MongoliaDecember 29[4]
109MontenegroMay 21
110MoroccoNovember 18
111MozambiqueJune 25
112MyanmarJanuary 4
113NamibiaMarch 21
114NauruJanuary 31
115Netherlands, TheJuly 26
116NicaraguaSeptember 15
117NigerAugust 3
118NigeriaOctober 1
119North MacedoniaSeptember 8
120Northern CyprusNovember 15
121NorwayMay 17
122OmanNovember 18
123PakistanAugust 14
124PanamaNovember 3 and 28
125Papua New GuineaSeptember 16
126ParaguayMay 15
127PeruJuly 28
128PhilippinesJune 12
129PolandNovember 11
130PortugalDecember 1
131QatarDecember 18
132RomaniaMay 9
133RussiaJune 12
134RwandaJuly 1
135Saint Kitts and NevisSeptember 19
136Saint LuciaFebruary 22
137Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesOctober 27
138SamoaJanuary 1
139São Tomé and PríncipeJuly 12
140SenegalApril 4
141SerbiaFebruary 15
142SeychellesJune 29
143Sierra LeoneApril 27
144SingaporeAugust 9
145SlovakiaJuly 17
146SloveniaDecember 26 and June 25
147Solomon IslandsJuly 7
148SomaliaJuly 1
149South AfricaDecember 11
150South SudanJuly 9
151Sri LankaFebruary 4
152SudanJanuary 1
153SurinameNovember 25
154SwedenJune 6
155SwitzerlandAugust 1
156SyriaApril 17
157TaiwanOctober 10
158TajikistanSeptember 9
159TanzaniaDecember 9
160TogoApril 27
161TibetFebruary 13
162TongaJune 4
163Trinidad and TobagoAugust 31
164TunisiaMarch 20
165TurkmenistanOctober 27
166TuvaluOctober 1
167UgandaOctober 9
168UkraineAugust 24
169United Arab EmiratesDecember 2
170United StatesJuly 4
171UruguayAugust 25
172UzbekistanSeptember 1
173VanuatuJuly 30
174VenezuelaJuly 5
175VietnamSeptember 2
176YemenNovember 30
177ZambiaOctober 24
178ZimbabweApril 18

I’ll close this blog with a warning about independence. It really doesn’t work without interdependence. As ironic as this sounds, we must remember the blood of Abraham, the father of many nations. Reminiscent of a common human blood, we also hear from the poet John Donne:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

Published by Thomas

Retired from active priestly ministry in the Catholic Church; former Benedictine monk; francophile; Holocaust researcher; Delta One Million Miler; Ex-Patriated American to the Republic of Panama

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