Independence and You

SG Séguret
2 min readJul 4, 2023
Photo © SG Séguret

Beyond the historical significance of Independence Day, which varies from country to country, what does independence mean to you?

Various definitions abound: freedom from the control, influence, support, or aid of others; maintaining your own life outside of your family or partner; self-reliance; self-sufficiency; the ability to live your life without being helped or influenced by other people; the state of being free of the control of some other person, country or entity; having full autonomy over your own life.

The concept of independence is often linked to freedom: freedom to think and act on your own; freedom to move about as you desire; freedom to make decisions without consulting another in charge.

When I was a child, one of my first phrases was, “All by delf”, meaning “All by myself”, meaning, “Don’t help me; I want to do it all by myself!”

Perhaps I have taken that notion a bit beyond its original intention, as I find myself essentially alone at this stage in my life. And yet I embrace that aloneness, and the independence that got me here.

Not all are as lucky as I. Some are trapped in dependent relationships. Some are slave to someone else’s dream. Others are restricted by governments that strip away their freedoms and hold them hostage. Some are held in bodies that have ceased to function optimally. Some are victims of polluted air, water, foodways.

In truth, we are all interconnected, interdependent. When one person pollutes the environment, his neighbor is affected. When a group of people choose to attack another group of people, no one escapes unscathed. When society decides the codes of conduct for a certain age, sex, or ethnicity, the effects are far-reaching.

Perhaps what we need to consider is a responsible independence. Nelson Mandela said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” William Faulkner said, “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” And Bob Dylan said, “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

Let us reflect on how we practice independence, and how we foster it in others. Let’s start today.

Susi Gott Séguret is author of several books including Appalachian Appetite, Child of the Woods, Cooking with Truffles, and A Chef’s Book of Favorite Culinary Quotations. She orchestrates several multi-sensory experiences including the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts, Asheville Truffle Experience, and Appalachian Culinary Experience. Passionate about elements of taste and style, and how they extend from our palate into our lives, Susi strives to blend food, music, words and images into a tapestry for the senses.



SG Séguret

Susi Gott Séguret, fiddler, dancer, photographer, chef, is author of multiple works, including Appalachian Appetite, Child of the Woods & Cooking with Truffles.