Successful Independence

I recently had a wonderful weekend away with my youngest son, and we had fun learning different aspects of becoming a man. One of the lessons had to do with some tips on becoming successfully independent from his parents. Interestingly enough, this lesson could be applicable in other areas of life.

We heard two stories-one illustrated independence that was not successful; the other was. Following are brief summaries of the stories:

The first story was about a young man who hiked into a wilderness area in Alaska, by himself, with the goal of living totally off the land. After living there for some time, a nearby river arose to the point of being impassable, and without being able to cross it to get necessary food and supplies, over time, he starved to death.

He had never been in this area before. He didn’t have a map.

No one knew where he was or how to find him.

Sometime afterwards, his body was discovered. Sadly, some research of the area showed a bridge over the river a relatively short distance away.

The second story was about 3 teens who wanted to cross Lake Michigan on paddleboards for a charitable endeavor. At first, their parents were very skeptical, but after several conversations, their parents consented.

They came up with a plan,

and had a huge outpouring of community support.

As planned, the three alternated on the paddleboard as they crossed the lake, while parents and members of their community rode alongside in boats to offer support and encouragement. At one point, the teens wanted to give up due to rough and turbulent waters, but their community urged them on and they were able to make it all the way across the lake safely!

Many people, in the name of being independent, try to navigate through life alone, and when faced with wilderness experiences, or situations that are seemingly impassable,  give up or experience devastating consequences.

Life is designed to be experienced within the context of a community.

Being independent does not mean going at it alone.

No one has to go at it alone!

There are many ways to find community, support, and create a healthy roadmap. If you or someone you know, needs help coming up with a “roadmap” for life, or needs help finding where to get some support, give me a call. I would love to help.