The Rugged Individual. The Sole Survivor. The Independent.
Actually, there’s no such person. Never has been. Never will be. Not possible.
Here I am — by myself — writing this post on a computer. On a blog site created by people I’ll never meet. Working on said computer built by machines built by thousands of others, invented by hundreds.
Inventors taught by teachers. Teachers taught by other teachers, who studied books written by writers, on paper created by printers, on machines powered by electricity, drawn from power plants, powered by rivers.
I am here in this moment ONLY through the countless contributions of others. The glasses and clothes I wear, the food I eat, the waste I create that is disposed of by the nameless and the faceless.
I have achieved NOTHING by myself. I was helped by cab drivers and merchants and newspaper editors and friends and family and pets and on and on and on and on and on.
If we want to be by ourself, then be by ourself. But don’t kid ourself that we’re an island unto ourself.
We are here — each and every one of us — through the grace and grit of everyone else on the planet.
Look at a grove of Aspen trees sometime. Hundreds of trees standing side-by-side, apart, individual. But look below the soil and you’ll find a single root system uniting them all.
So it is with each of us.