Self-reliance ~ 17th Karmapa

Interdependence means that change is always possible. This is a basic facet of causality: because all things are dependent on causes and conditions for their existence, all things are always open to change. In fact, they are always changing. Causes and conditions are constantly interacting in ways that affect the outcome. If we think of a seed as a cause and a tree as the result, it is clear that one cause alone does not produce a tree. Conditions such as moisture, soil, and warmth are all instrumental in determining its size, strength, and the quality of its branches and fruits. By manipulating any of those conditions, we change the result.
This is why by changing the conditions in our lives — beginning with our inner conditions — we can change our lives. Because they are interconnected, we can change our inner world and our outer circumstances. We just need to identify correctly the conditions that we can and must change; then we change them. In this way, the greater our attentiveness to the workings of interdependence, the more opportunities we have to take charge of our own lives. This is a true form of self-reliance — self-reliance that does not deny the role of other people or external circumstances but rather wisely takes them into consideration.

17th Karmapa

from the book Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society

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