Life, at its core, is founded on interdependency. This concept was beautifully articulated by Stephen Covey in his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I still vividly remember the moments spent reading it. Not just for the sheer joy of it, but because it took me months to finish—I was really slow at reading English back then! 😑 Part of why I liked the content was its resonance with my own experiences; it didn’t feel like a new strategy to adopt, but something I had already encountered in life. I fondly recall explaining the book, word by word, to my friend Amin while sitting in Saeb’s Garden.

However, I’ve realized that the discussion on dependency, independency, and interdependency isn’t always clear or relatable to everyone. It’s not about complex mathematics or wizardry, but it seems some fundamental aspects of personality might be necessary to grasp these concepts. That’s why I’m sharing these thoughts here.

Over the years, I’ve broached this topic with many people. If this were a scientific study, I could almost conclude that hardly anyone cared or understood. Even those initially interested soon lost pace and gave up.

This narrative is indeed sad, but the reason behind it is quite clear: such discussions don’t cater to the lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Simple, but there’s more to it. I believe as the economy worsens and people’s needs become more immediate, interest in morality-based guidance dwindles. What terrifies me is that as we drift away from moral foundations, achieving high-value individual and societal goals becomes increasingly difficult. We risk trapping our whole community in a detrimental loop. What will happen after two generations? A rich cultural heritage might lose its defining personality traits, and a great nation like Iran could face turmoil similar to what Afghanistan has experienced.

How many years would it take for Afghans to rebuild their country from scratch? Perhaps indefinitely. And what are the prospects for personal growth for the new generations in such a society? Perhaps negligible.

I initially thought about tweeting on this topic, but here I am, having written a whole page instead! 😂 This will remain a public draft until I find the time to add a concluding section, further discussing the dynamic between givers and takers, as classified by Adam Grant.

For now, I highly recommend this clip (Note: the spoken language is Persian). 😇