BALANCING BETWEEN INDEPENDENCE AND SOLIDARITY
Although Ikarians are very independent and have a great respect for individuality, we also possess a very strong sense of solidarity. It is quite an interesting mix. In one of our retreats that took place last fall, this topic of individuality and solidarity was discussed, sparking a very enlightening and eye-opening conversation. One of our guests mentioned that the idea of interdependency Ikarian culture upholds and manifests in daily life is a key to emotional health. I have spent a lot of time researching and talking to local Ikarians about this subject as I find it quite interesting. The consensus seems to be this, we are independent but at the same time we are sensitive to the needs of our community and those around us. Whether it be expressed from a person or village, the word “help” is not in any respect interpreted as a sign of weakness, nor is it understood as something demeaning. As humans, as Ikarians, we are expected to have this sense of solidarity because how else would we have survived? My personal belief is that by knowing there exists this safety net of people willing to catch you when you fall, you feel secure, you feel protected. I have yet to meet an Ikarian who feels isolated or abandoned and I strongly believe that I will never come across one. As I see this practice of compassion and empathy continuing in the next generation, I feel very proud of our people and the values that are being taught and instilled into our youth. Throughout the centuries, Ikarians have survived because the philosophy of coming together for the common good and providing aid to someone in a difficult position is held in the greatest esteem. When the need is there, we are able to put our differences aside and come together for the greater good.