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Independence

  • No one can be free unless he is independent ... In reality, he who is served is limited in his independence ...

  • Human dignity ... is derived from a sense of independence.

  • Avoid the reeking herd, / Shun the polluted flock, / Live like that stoic bird, / The eagle of the rock.

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "The Eagle and the Mole," Nets to Catch the Wind ()
  • Union is only possible to those who are units. To be fit for relations in time, souls, whether of man or woman, must be able to do without them in the spirit.

  • In the end countries, like people, are alone, and the real things that must be done have to be done without help.

  • ... in freeing myself from the romantic dream of finding another man to come along and rescue me, I learned that no one can rescue me except myself.

    • Erica Jong,
    • in Beth Benatovich, ed., What We Know So Far ()
  • The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet.

  • My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars.

  • ... there is no support so strong as the strength that enables one to stand alone.

  • Mature people relate to each other without the need to merge.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1946, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 4 ()
  • A man may own a ship, but unless he is captain of a crew he goes where the ship goes.

  • ... I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.

  • ... in her there appeared the charm one finds in independent women at whom 'society' has thrown up its hands and who have responded to 'society' with total indifference.

  • She had the air of someone who walked among her own thoughts and found them sufficient company.

  • If you are not your own agent, you are some one else's.

  • We commonly confuse closeness with sameness and view intimacy as the merging of two separate 'I's' into one worldview.

  • There is no such thing as being too independent.

  • There is something fearfully strengthening about cutting free even if the ties bandage the heart itself.

  • I'll walk where my own nature would be leading: / It vexes me to choose another guide ...

    • Emily Brontë,
    • in Charlotte Brontë, ed., "Selections From the Literary Remains of Ellis and Acton Bell," memorial edition of Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey ()
  • If you would have your son to walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them — not insist upon leading him by the land, but let him learn to go alone.

  • It is a far greater happiness to obey no one than to rule the whole world.

    • Queen Christina,
    • in Margaret Goldsmith, Christina of Sweden: A Psychological Biography ()
  • Don't always come when you're called.

  • No more anger, no more hunger / I sit now in the shade of my own tree. / Meditating thus, I am happy, serene.

    • Sumangalamata,
    • 6th cent. BCE, in Susan Murcott, The First Buddhist Women ()
  • The only real security is not insurance or money or a job, not a house and furniture paid for, or a retirement fund, and never is it another person. It is the skill and humor and courage within, the ability to build your own fires and find your own peace.

  • It is easy to be independent when you've got money. But to be independent when you haven't got a thing — that's the Lord's test.

  • There is something akin to freedom in having a lover who has no control over you.

  • ... it was not so much a change as an awakening — the awakening that comes when through a child's illusion of being a passenger on someone else's ship breaks the realization that one is all by oneself in a little boat of one's own — but that the boat can be rowed and steered somewhat in the direction, at least, of the destination one chooses.

  • Independent bread gives independent morals: — while pecuniary dependence makes moral subserviency; — So get money — get wealth --

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • 1874, in Lynn Sherr, ed., Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words ()
  • Woman must have a purse of her own.

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • 1853, in Annie Laurie Gaylor, ed., Women Without Superstition "No Gods--No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()
  • And no sooner had Cap been commanded, if she valued her safety, not to cross the water or climb the precipice than, as a natural consequence, she began to wonder what was in the valley behind the mountain and what might be in the woods across the river. And she longed, above all things, to explore and find out for herself.

  • Let them find out things for themselves. It is the only true wisdom, and nobody wants even cake thrust down his throat.

  • Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue.

  • ... how can a rational being be ennobled by anything that is not obtained by its own exertions?

  • ... there was a push-pull to the arrangement that she hadn't bargained for: what happens if you build a bridge for your children and they actually cross it?

  • [On children's inner needs:] ... they say, 'Help me to do it alone.'