Self-Reliant vs. Independence

Perspective on Independence

My Independence Perspective

Independence is a state of mind, it's a  feeling of independence. We actually learn to be self-reliant through stages in life. We start out as a dependent infant, grow into a toddler,  wake up in the process of adolescents and jump into the  stage of adulthood. We tire into regression as we elder.

The infant and toddler are learning to eat without help, wash their hands, and learning  to use the toilet.  Parents and day care providers are teachers & advocates' of ADL's.  The ADL's are "activities of daily life" what we do every day.  Neighbors, friends, and Grandparents  advocate and teach the toddler.  Parents introduce the words “Yes”& "No", this informs the child that the action is right or wrong.  As the children grow and start school they learn the building blocks of success. Everything  learned aids the process into adolescents.

The adolescents strive for self-reliance as they move into adulthood.  In the Book, "Psychology and the Challenge of Life", I learned detailed information  on adolescents, " The Quest for Independence", and the " I have to be me" adolescents strive to do. Adolescents want to be more self-reliant and that comes with more responsibilities.  Here's an example: Obtaining a driver's license takes many good choices.  First, they must be 15 years old, and a good student. Next,  drivers education class with 1500 hours, then take the test and pass.  Parents, families and our government set guidelines.   Adolescents must follow the step to obtain the drivers license. Leading by example helps adolescents during any stage. Adolescents who feel good about their role models seem to have a greater self-reliance as well as, a positive self-reliance which leads to the next stage adulthood.

The adults have responsibilities, it's call advocating life. We have to get the job to make money and be self-reliant   Adults have to choose a bank to hold their money and  investments, retirement funds and financial planning for their future. Doing this ensures their contributions, abilities to society.  Adults choose an investment broker to invest, a car salesman to buy a car. Everyone who works contributes to society, as a whole.  As adults start to age, the level of self-reliance changes.

 When older adults reach retirement, they still advocate, but things can change. The ability to perform ADL's do with aging can be challenging.  This stage is a form of regression. The elder no longer able to drive due to poor eyesight.  The elders might choose to obtain a city bus pass. He/ she may not want to depend on the children or family. He/ she may be holding on to self-reliance.  The elders may go into a continuing care program or nursing home.  Doing this ensures the safety for the elder who can't achieve all of the ADL's.   This is truly becoming dependent again later in life.

In conclusion,  "Independence" is self-reliant in stages of our life's.  We really never have true independence. We all have the freedom to choose.  It takes teachers, neighbors, friends and most importantly family. I think of us all as a great big network of busy bees, all trying to find our place in society. We live in the land of Freedom, which gives us the choice to choose our " contribution identity" of self-reliance in society.


Psychology and the Challenges of Life, Adjustment in the New Millennium, 10th Edition, JEFFERY S. NEVID AND SPENCER A. RATHUS (Copyright 2007) John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Source 2


"Contribution Identity" A positive and negative process, in which we go through in life. We can choose our choice, on how to contribute to society. We begin with dependence, becoming self-reliant, ending with possible regression.

(September 26,2009) Michelle Christine McElwain — My concepts were cultivated by  the study of Sigmund Freud and Darwin.  I married the two concepts in my words of Theory. I was attending Matc, Milwaukee,Wisconsin- I wrote it in English class she didn't like it, I got a C.  Although,  my psychology teacher state " it was better than some doctrines, that he had read."