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.
|6||Antigua and Barbuda||November 1|
|12||Bahamas, The||July 10|
|21||Bosnia and Herzegovina||March 1|
|26||Burkina Faso||August 5|
|31||Cape Verde||July 5|
|32||Central African Republic||August 13|
|36||Colombia||July 20 and August 7|
|38||Congo, Democratic Republic of the||June 30|
|39||Congo, Republic of the||August 15|
|40||Costa Rica||September 15|
|41||Côte d’Ivoire||August 7|
|45||Czech Republic||October 28|
|49||East Timor||May 20|
|51||El Salvador||September 15|
|52||Equatorial Guinea||October 12|
|60||Gambia, The||February 18|
|61||Georgia||May 26 and April 9|
|72||Hong Kong||July 1|
|79||Israel||(On or between April 15 and May 15, depending on the Hebrew calendar).|
|85||PDRK (North Korea)||August 15|
|86||Republic of Korea (South Korea)||March 1|
|115||Netherlands, The||July 26|
|119||North Macedonia||September 8|
|120||Northern Cyprus||November 15|
|124||Panama||November 3 and 28|
|125||Papua New Guinea||September 16|
|135||Saint Kitts and Nevis||September 19|
|136||Saint Lucia||February 22|
|137||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||October 27|
|139||São Tomé and Príncipe||July 12|
|143||Sierra Leone||April 27|
|146||Slovenia||December 26 and June 25|
|147||Solomon Islands||July 7|
|149||South Africa||December 11|
|150||South Sudan||July 9|
|151||Sri Lanka||February 4|
|163||Trinidad and Tobago||August 31|
|169||United Arab Emirates||December 2|
|170||United States||July 4|
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.