Man is a People-Dependent Being!

1. Everyone Depends on Everyone

Because, in one way or another, all human beings depend on one another!
Because, in one way or another, all human beings need one another!
Because, in one way or another, humanity needs its many races and places!
Because we cannot survive without the work of millions of other people!

2. Human Interdependence is Deeper than We Think!

The reality of human inter-dependence is far deeper than we ordinarily realise. The whole truth is that: everyone, every people, every place, depend on other people and on other places, in ways they do not readily realise, for their wellbeing, and for one or another need. No people, no one is self-sufficient or self-supportive and non-dependent. Rather, humanity survives on a salient system of mutual interdependence. For many necessities, we depend on people we do not know and do not see. The sages come from the east; the scientists come from the west. The east needs the west to get sunset; the west needs the east for sunrise. The young need the experience of age, the old need the virility of youth. The poor, it’s believed, need the rich, but the rich also need the poor. The rich look to the poor for services, the poor look to the rich for support. Man is a people-dependent being!

The farmer needs the fisherman’s fish to enjoy his vegetables; but too, the fisherman needs the farmers spices to stimulate his crayfish stew. The teacher teaches the students, the students pay the bill of the teachers. The lawyer needs the doctor, the doctor needs the priest, the priest needs the tailor, the tailor needs the farmer, the farmer needs the chemist, the chemist needs the engineer or the cobbler, etc. It is called interdependence! In this long thread of connectivity, we see that all depend on one another. I depend on you; you depend on other people; other people depend on me. Yes, I do not directly depend on everyone on planet earth. But those on whom I depend, themselves depend on those on whom I do not depend. In this way the connection of dependence is built and we can actually trace this long chain of human interconnection; and we can call it human kinship.

Those in the north pole need the warm wind from the south pole, but those in the south pole also need the cool breeze from the north pole. Those in Africa, for a banal instance, need the technology from Europe, but those in Europe also need the material and human resources from Africa. Thus, humanity is so interdependent that everyone, in some real way, depends on other people, on everyone else. There are sadly, peoples and places who make pretences of self-sufficiency and seem to have the tendency to loathe other peoples and places and even treat them as disposable or at best despicable. This is the despisal that paled the fraternity of all humanity. But gladly, mankind cannot overgrow his default of interdependence.

3. Everyone Affects Everyone!

Because everyone on earth is linked to everyone else!
Because everyone of us is in the same big house called earth!
Because everyone’s action has some rippling effect on everyone else!
Everyone on earth is connected in some subtle, real way to everyone else.
Everyone can affect everyone, directly, indirectly, without their permission.
Everyone can ‘touch’ everyone even without willing it or knowing about it.
In fact, other people are the real beneficiaries of things we do, good or bad!
If Europe’s industries emit carbon, it pollutes the atmosphere for everyone.
If the rain forests of the Amazon are lost, the result of poor air and soil erosion will not be confined to Brazil alone.

If the Ukraine crisis leads to a nuclear war, it will affect even those who have never heard the word ‘NATO’ before. If we take good and positive actions, people are enhanced. If we take bad and negative actions, people are harmed. If people live well, society at large will be better for it. If people live badly, society at large will suffer from it. If people are terrorists, society will suffer it. If people are philanthropists, society will rejoice for it. If students become scientists, society would have inventors. If students become cultists, society would have anarchists. Someone’s action or inaction can ruin lives inadvertently. Someone can save someone else without a deliberate choice. Someone can bless or impede everyone without even intending to do so.

4. The Capacity of Every Human Action

Every human action has the capacity to impact everyone on earth. It does not happen so all the time; but it is an ever-present reality. Someone can cause suffering even when he has passed on to the beyond. Somebody’s life or choice or work can bring the solution you dearly need. Somebody’s work may be a remedy to pain for centuries and to nations. Somebody’s product can kill people even though he wanted to save them. Somebody’s decision can save people even though he doesn’t know them. This somebody is someone somewhere, whom we do not know. This someone can be anyone anywhere far away in any part of the world. Therefore, this someone is indeed everyone everywhere. There are many diseases — social and pathological — which people suffer today, but their origin can be traced to the will and deed of individuals, who have passed on but left us a legacy of ill.

Michael Richmond Duru
January 22nd 2022



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Michael Richmond Duru

Michael Richmond Duru is an Igboman. From Amaulu, Mbieri clan. His Igboland is in the gulf of West Africa. A priest of the Archdiocese of Owerri. Lives in Rome.